All was fine on Wall Street until U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled a Friday press conference concerning China, sapping gains across all major stock market indexes from earlier Thursday, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
Trump’s afternoon announcement came after China’s National People’s Congress approved a new security bill that targets Hong Kong’s autonomy. Analysts are worried the U.S. response could add even more uncertainty to the stock market that is already dealing with COVID-19.
“If the HK response involves broad sanctions against individuals or entities, that would be a larger issue and not something the SPX could easily dismiss,” said Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge in a note, according to CNBC.
The news sent stocks into a late tailspin across the board after all three major U.S. indexes were enjoying another day in the green.
The Dow Jones index got a lift earlier from Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) after it said it had resumed production of its 737 MAX passenger jet at its Washington plant, although at a “low rate.” The stock was up 3.1% at one point, but settled to close up only 0.3%.
The S&P 500 has soared about 38% from its low hit in March as a restart in business activity after weeks of a coronavirus shutdown and massive amounts of stimulus measures to support the economy drove hopes of a recovery.
The benchmark index is now around 10% below its Feb. 19 record high.
The Dow Jones fell 0.6%. The S&P 500 moved 0.2% lower and the Nasdaq fell 0.5%.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 3,029 (-0.21%)
DOW: 25,400 (-0.58%)
NASDAQ: 9,368 (-0.46%)
GOLD: $1,732.50 (+0.33%)
BITCOIN: $9,451.38 (+3.18%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.692% (+0.015%)
*- as of 4:10 p.m.
A Big Win
This morning, in the Opening Bell, we told you to watch for American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) after the company announced it was trimming back 30% of its management and support staff. Shares of American Airlines were down more than 8.3%.
We also mentioned keeping an eye on Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR). The discount retailer beat Wall Street expectations for both sales and earnings in the last quarter. Dollar Tree shares soared more than 11.5%.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) shares dropped 12.3% after the company said its revenue fell 11.2% in the second quarter. The company also lowered its guidance for the next quarter on economic uncertainty.
Precious metal futures were mixed as tensions between the U.S. and China heating up.
The Trump administration is looking at options to punish China over its tightening grip on Hong Kong, according to U.S. officials.
Gold trading banks are preparing to significantly reduce their positions on CME Group’s COMEX exchange in New York, nine people familiar with the plans said.
Gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,731.50 an ounce. Silver futures rose 0.7% to trade at $17.88 an ounce.
Platinum dropped 1.6% to trade at $864 an ounce while palladium dropped 1% to $1,957.30 an ounce.
Cannabis producers are sitting on a surplus of around one million pounds of marijuana and there’s little they can do about it.
However, in Oregon, the state has allowed cannabis producers to make agreements with other states to import and export legal cannabis which could be the groundwork for other states, according to Leafly.
Creating an interstate compact, where two or more states agree to jointly regulate an issue, could help cannabis producers move their excess, but only if the federal government allows them to do it.
Jobs Data Show 2.1 Million Apply for Unemployment, Total Number Shrinks
Data from the Department of Labor showed that 2.1 million more Americans filed jobless claims for the week ending May 16.
However, there was a decline of 3.86 million in continuing claims. That’s the biggest reversal in the claims data so far.
In the last 10 weeks, there have been 40.8 million people file unemployment claims.
There were 1.19 million claims filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program which was established as part of a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year. Economists still see the unemployment rate in the U.S. rising to near 20%.
Today’s Big Winners:
S&P 500: Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR) +11.5%
Nasdaq: Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN) +7.8%
Dow: Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) +2%
Today’s Big Losers:
S&P 500: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) -12.3%
Nasdaq: American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) -8.3%
Dow: Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) -3.9%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.