Wall Street nosedived heading into the weekend on surging coronavirus infections and a report saying U.S. intervention in Chinese interests is risking the countries’ phase one trade deal, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.

The Top Story

All three major U.S. indexes traded sharply lower after The Wall Street Journal reported American “meddling” in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other matters is jeopardizing Chinese good purchases under the trade agreement.

The report came with more bad news regarding the coronavirus pandemic as the surging number of people infected pushed both Texas and Florida to close down bars again.

“Markets are very much headline driven. We’ve had a very big run for the quarter and there’s definitely some reason to take profits, and they’re using Florida and Texas numbers to do that,” said Bob Shea, Chief Executive Officer at TrimTabs Asset Management in New York.

The benchmark S&P 500 is on pace for its best quarterly return — powered by massive stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve — in more than 20 years. But now the index is testing its 200-day moving average. If it falls below that key level, it could be a signal of further losses ahead.

The Nasdaq fell more than 2.5% after news that Unilever was pausing its Facebook and Twitter ad spends for the rest of 2020 due to the “polarized atmosphere in the U.S.”

Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) tanked 8.3%, weighing the most on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) also said it was joining the ad spend boycott, calling out the social media giant for not doing enough to combat hate speech on its platforms. Facebook also owns Instagram.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 713 points lower.

Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 3,009 (-2.42%)
DOW: 25,031 (-2.77%)
NASDAQ: 9,757 (-2.59%)
1,382 (-2.16%)
$1,770.50 (+0.30%)
BITCOIN: $9,196.06 (-1.33%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.64% (-0.033)

*- as of 4:10 p.m.

A Big Win

This morning we told you to be on the lookout for Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHIP), which reported a 17% decrease in net revenue quarter of quarter. It also reported a net loss of $8.3 million, and shares cratered over 39%.

Blackberry Ltd. (NYSE: BB) also took a hit to the tune of 2.7% after missing revenue projections for the last quarter, reporting $214 million, about $1.3 million below Wall Street expectations.

On the plus side, it was a banner day for Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG), which rose over 27% after announcing growth of 20% or more during Q2.

Golden Nuggets

Gold rebounded from earlier losses as the coronavirus continued its relentless spread across the U.S., which saw a record jump in infections. The spike slammed risk appetite, setting the precious metal on track for its third straight weekly gain.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,770.40 by 4:10 p.m. EDT, while gold futures were up 0.7% to $1,783.80.

“Investors are getting nervous due to the current rise in coronavirus cases and quitting their positions in riskier assets like stocks, while parking their investments in gold and bonds,” said Bob Haberkorn, Senior Market Strategist at RJO Futures.

Gold is up over 1.4% this week, and M&M Chief Investment Strategist Adam O’Dell thinks its ultimately going to blow past its previous record high of $1,921.

Cannabis Corner

The deal for Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) to acquire U.S. multi-state operator Acreage Holdings has been significantly amended, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

The original deal was valued around $3.4 billion, but a research note from a Cowen analyst said Acreage’s equity has been slashed to around $900 million.

US to Ship Remdesivir to States With Rising COVID-19 Cases

The U.S. government will ship more of Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral treatment remdesivir to states experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases including California, Texas, Florida and Arizona, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

The government reallocated remdesivir to states with increasing cases, White House task force coordinator Deborah Birx said during a briefing on Friday.

Today’s Big Winners

S&P 500: Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) +18.7%

Nasdaq: NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) +5.2%

Dow: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) +2.41%

Today’s Big Losers

S&P 500: Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) -11%

Nasdaq: Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) -8.3%

Dow: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) -8.6%

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

Reuters contributed to this report.