The S&P 500 and Dow were little changed as coronavirus infections continued to pick up and data showed an elevated level of jobless claims, suggesting a prolonged economic recovery, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.

The Top Story

The Labor Department released data showing weekly jobless claims declined for the 11th straight week, but the pace of the decline has slowed.

One reason is tepid demand and fractured supply chains have led to a second wave of layoffs, hampering a rapid recovery for the embattled U.S. economy.

A resurgence in coronavirus infections has kept the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes in a condensed ranged this week. The S&P 500 is now 8% below its February all-time high after closing within 5% last week.

Technology was the biggest boost to the benchmark index, with real estate and utilities posting the steepest declines.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) slipped more than 6% as it stopped short of raising its annual forecast, citing demand for essential goods has started to subside.

The Dow Jones fell 0.15%. The S&P 500 was mostly flat, closing 0.06% higher, and the Nasdaq was 0.33% higher. The Russell 2000 fell 0.13%.

Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 3,115 (+0.06%)
DOW: 26,080 (-0.15%)
NASDAQ: 9,943 (+0.33%)
1,425 (-0.09%)
32.65 (-2.45%)
GOLD: $1,731.90 (-0.21%)
BITCOIN: $9,387.51 (+0.79%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.70% (-0.031%)

*- as of 4:10 p.m.

A Big Win

In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to be on the lookout for Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) as the cruise operator reported a fivefold drop in revenue from a year ago. It also posted an earnings loss of $3.30 per share. Carnival closed 1.4% lower.

We also wanted to keep a close eye on Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) as the company’s shares continued to free-fall after the Securities and Exchange Commission raised red flags about the sale of $500 million in potentially worthless stock, which Hertz called off today. Shares of Hertz were 10% lower.

Finally, (and for the big win) there was Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT), whose shares jumped 12.4% as the company signed exclusive podcast deals with Kim Kardashian West and Warner Bros./DC Comics.

Golden Nuggets

Spot gold prices fell slightly Thursday on lower jobless claims and reports that China is bringing its coronavirus outbreak back under control.

However, global infections rising limited losses for the safe-haven metal.

Gold futures fell just 0.21% to trade at $1,731.90 an ounce while spot gold dropped 0.2%.

The mounting infections worldwide continued to inspire safe-haven buying of gold, driving the metal close to a one-week high earlier in the day. However, gold is still facing competition as a safe haven from the U.S. dollar.

Silver futures were off by 1.43% to $17.52 an ounce. Platinum was down 2.8% to trade at $814 an ounce while palladium moved 1.21% lower to $1,902.20 an ounce.

Cannabis Corner

A Massachusetts cannabis company said it plans to expand its operations, even though the state’s recreational cannabis market was shut down due to the coronavirus.

According to MassLive, Commonwealth Cannabis Co. said it will add 50 new jobs and triple its production, despite losing around $2 million in the last two months.

The expansion is centered around the company’s 60,000-square-foot facility in Medway, and its cultivation and production center in Millis.

Lawmakers Pushing $120 Billion in Aid for Restaurants

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is examining a $120 billion aid package to help restaurants hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure calls for direct grants administered by the Department of the Treasury, according to The Wall Street Journal. It would ban grants going to publicly traded companies.

Overall, the food-services industry has lost nearly 6 million jobs in March and April as infections were ramping up across the country, forcing a lockdown. The industry recovered about 1.4 million of those jobs when the economy started to reopen in May.

Today’s Big Winners:

S&P 500: HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) +4.9%

Nasdaq: T-Mobile US Inc. (Nasdaq: TMUS) +3.7%

Dow: Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) +1.1%

Today’s Big Losers:

S&P 500: Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) -7.5%

Nasdaq: Ross Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) -4.4%

Dow: American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) -1.7%

Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.