U.S. markets continued a slight downward turn amid coronavirus news plus more in Thursday’s Closing Bell on Money and Markets.
The Top Story
If you bet against Elon Musk and Tesla, you may have just faced a bad beat.
After Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) released its quarterly earnings report, investors betting against the company lost more than $1 billion in shorts. Short sellers of the electric automaker have lost more than $5.2 billion this year in mark-to-market losses, according to CNBC.
In 2019, short sellers lost $2.89 billion.
Short sellers have covered around 19.11 million shares, worth $11.1 billion, and are down more than $12 billion in losses. Tesla is the most-shorted stock in the U.S.
Other analysts ate their fair share of crow Thursday.
“Given our decision to downgrade when shares were ~$150 lower, we accept the criticism,” Baird analyst Ben Kallo wrote in a note to clients. Kallo maintains a neutral rating for Tesla.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak told his clients some of his initial thoughts about Tesla were “misguided.”
“We fully admit things are better than we expected and there is a lot of positive news flow and data points going Tesla’s way,” Spak said in his note.
Money and Markets: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 3,283 (+10 points, +0.3%)
DOW: 28,859 (+125 points, +0.4%)
NASDAQ: 9,298 (+23 points, +0.2%)
GOLD: $1,573.50 (-$2.90, -0.1%)
BITCOIN: $9,547.30 (+$170.72, +1.8%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 1.58%
*- as of 4:10 p.m.
A Big Win
In Thursday’s Wall Street Wake-Up, we told you about Tesla and its blockbuster quarterly earnings report (if you missed our analysis, read it here). Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) shares were up nearly 10.3% Thursday.
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) had a strong quarterly report. As a result, shares of the tech company were up 2.8% Thursday. Check out our analysis here.
Shares of social media giant Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) dropped 6.1% Thursday afternoon after the company shed $50 billion of its market cap, despite beating earnings expectations.
AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AMN) is spending $475 million to acquire Clearwater, Florida-based Stratus Video. Shares of AMN rose 0.1% Thursday.
Safe-haven demand was strong Thursday as gold and silver moved steadily higher.
Gold fell $2.90 to $1,573.50 an ounce while silver was up $0.29 to $17.91 an ounce. Platinum rose to $983 an ounce and palladium rose $29 to $2,222 an ounce.
The upward movement came after two days of investors brushing aside concerns over the coronavirus.
One metal getting hammered by the coronavirus is copper. As of Thursday afternoon, the metal was set for its 11th consecutive trading day of losses — making it the longest losing streak in six years. The drop comes as investors are concerned over demand for the metal in China — the world’s largest metals consumer.
Cannabis stocks suffered another down day Thursday.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) rose 0.5% while Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) dropped 0.7%. Hydroponic equipment integrator Terra Tech Corp. (Over-the-Counter: TRTC) jumped 4.4%.
Stock Market Update
On news that the U.S. confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, equities dropped slightly Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.
The CBOE Volatility Index fell 5.4%.
In other market news, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan rate fell to 3.51% from 3.60% this week. The average rate on 15-year mortgages dropped to 3% from 3.04%.
Internationally, the Bank of England left interest rates alone as the county prepares for its official departure from the European Union.
The Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 to keep interest rates at 0.75%.
In Mexico, the county’s statistics institute released data suggesting the nation’s economy entered a recession in 2019.
During the first year of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration, the country’s economy grew just 0.1% — as opposed to the 2% Mexico had forecast.
Today’s Big Winners:
Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) +10.3%
ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW) +9.1%
Mondelez International Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) +7.7%
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) +3.2%
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) +2.8%
Today’s Big Losers:
DuPont De Memours Inc. (NYSE: DD) -8.6%
United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) -6.7%
Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) -6.1%
Illumina Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN) -5.5%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN) -6.2%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money and Markets.
Don’t forget about “Marijuana Markets: a POTcast,” featuring the biggest cannabis news and investment notes from Banyan Hill’s Anthony Planas, here on Money and Markets each Saturday morning.