Two of the three major U.S. stock market indexes sank as investors are worried another round of business shutdowns could hit after a surge of new coronavirus cases, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
It wasn’t all bad news, though, as the downward trend in weekly jobless claims continued (read more on that below).
The Nasdaq composite also shrugged off the news, and tech giants Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) kept the index in the black. It closed at a record high again.
“We need consumers and businesses to be engaged in a recovery — shutdown or no shutdown — and the news of increased spread of the virus weighs on consumer psychology and sentiment,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.
“The market has rallied in anticipation of progress being made on the economy and today is a step back from that.”
The S&P 500 has gained around 40% since hitting its recent low on March 23. The index is still around 8% from its record high 3,386.15 points.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 3,152 (-0.56%)
DOW: 25,706 (-1.39%)
NASDAQ: 10,547 (+0.53%)
RUSSELL 2000: 1,398 (-2%)
VIX: 29.26 (+4.2%)
GOLD: $1,808.30 (-0.67%)
BITCOIN: $9,220.01 (-2.2%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.607% (-0.046%)
*- as of 4:15 p.m.
A Big Win
In the Opening Bell we touched on Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) after the bulk retailer reported a sizeable sales jump in June. Investors took kindly to the news, and pushed the stock 2.9% higher.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY) was not as lucky. Its stock plummeted almost 25% after announcing it would be closing 200 stores over the next two years.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) shares also sank7.8% after the company reported $1.7 billion in losses for its fiscal third quarter. The drug store chain will also be cutting 4,000 jobs and halting share buybacks, according to Markets Insider.
Gold’s rally over $1,800 per ounce lost a little steam Thursday and investors went back to holding U.S. dollars amid the record climb in U.S. COVID-19 cases.
Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,803 per ounce, while gold futures were trading 0.7% lower at $1808.50 per ounce.
“Gold has been overbought quite a bit after it surpassed the $1,800 level and now we are seeing some investors selling off,” said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.
“The dollar is also climbing a bit, so that is weighing on gold as well. But there are no fundamental reasons as such for the pullback.”
Silver was also down slightly, but futures were still trading slightly above $19 per ounce. Platinum futures took a big hit Thursday, falling 3.5% to $853.30 per ounce.
Palladium was the only precious metal in the green. Its futures were up 1.4% to $1,965 per ounce.
New figures from the Canadian government show federally licensed cannabis producers are stockpiling a record amount of dried product.
As of April, producers had more 620,000 kilograms (1.4 million pounds) of unpackaged inventory, which is creating the need for production cuts if demand doesn’t catch up with supply.
Weekly Jobless Claims Near Four-Month Low
The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits dropped to a near four-month low last week, but a record 32.9 million people were collecting unemployment checks in the third week of June, supporting expectations the labor market would take years to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 99,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.314 million for the week ended July 4. The 14th straight weekly decline pushed claims to their lowest level since mid-March when nonessential businesses were closed to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.
Today’s Big Winners:
S&P 500: F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) +7.9%
Nasdaq: Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD) +7.2%
Dow: Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) +2.7%
Today’s Big Losers:
(as of 3:15 p.m. EDT)
S&P 500: Mohawk Industries Inc. (NYSE: MHK) -20%
Nasdaq: Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) -7.8%
Dow: Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) -7.8%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.
Reuters contributed to this report.