4:20 pm: Thursday’s rally by the numbers
- Dow closed up 2.24% for its first positive day in 3
- This week: Dow is down 1.03%, on pace for its 3rd negative week in 4
- This year: Dow is down 24.97%, on pace for its worst year since 2008 when the Dow lost 33.64%
- S&P 500 closed up 2.28% for its first positive day in 3
- This week: S&P 500 is down 0.57%, on pace for its 3rd negative week in 4
- This year: S&P 500 is down 21.79%, on pace for its worst year since 2008 when the S&P lost 38.49%
- Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.72% for its 1st positive day in 3
- This week: Nasdaq is down 0.2%, on pace for its 3rd negative week in 4
- This year: Nasdaq is down 16.55%, on pace for its worst year since 2008 when the Nasdaq lost 40.54%
- Sectors: 11 out of 11 sectors were positive today led by Energy up 9.07% for its best day since Mar 24th when Energy gained 16.31% — Francolla, Fitzgerald
4:04 pm: US loses nearly half of job gains since financial crisis in just two weeks
The Labor Department’s latest unemployment claims data show that the U.S. economy has nearly cut in half the 25 million jobs it added over the last decade. The government’s Thursday report showed 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, adding to the 3.3 million the week prior, each a new record at the time. Combined, those 10 million claimants make up about half of the 25 million nonfarm payrolls created since February 2010. — Franck
4:01 pm: Stocks close in the green after volatile session, Dow rises 450 points
U.S. stocks end the day in positive territory after a wild session where investors digested a historic jobless claims report and a 24% spike in oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up about 466 points, or 2.23%, near its session highs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 2.3% and 1.7%, respectively. — Fitzgerald
3:51 pm: Worldwide coronavirus cases reach 1 million, doubling in a week as death toll tops 50,000
Reported COVID-19 cases around the world surpassed 1 million on Thursday, doubling in a week as the virus spreads across Europe and North America and establishes a toehold in Africa. Just before global cases reached 1 million, the COVID-19 worldwide death toll passed 50,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Feuer
3:11 pm: Oil rally by the numbers
- WTI crude settled up 24.67% at 25.32 for its best day ever (back to contract inception in 1983)
- WTI is up 17.7% week to date, on pace for its best week since Jan 23, 2009 when WTI gained 27.28%
- WTI is still down 58.53% year to date, on pace for its worst year ever back to inception of the contract 1983
- Brent settled up 21.02% at 29.94 for its best day ever back to contract inception in 1989
- Brent is up 20.1% week to date, on pace for its best week since Jan 2, 2009 when Brent gained 22.26%
- Brent is down 54.64% year to date — Francolla, Li
3:06 pm: Oil surges 24% for best day on record after Trump tells CNBC Saudis, Russia reach agreement
Oil prices skyrocketed on Thursday after President Donald Trump told CNBC Saudis and Russia will ease pressure on oil, ending a price war that has contributed to crude’s massive plunge. West Texas Intermediate crude futures surged 24.67% to settle at $25.32 per barrel, for its largest single-day percentage gain in history. International benchmark Brent jumped 21% to settle at $29.94 per barrel, in what was also its best day on record. Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen Thursday that he spoke to President Putin yesterday and Saudi Crown Prince Thursday and expects them to announce an oil production cut of 10 million barrels and could be up to 15 million. WTI did close off its highest level of the day as traders questioned whether a cut of the magnitude Trump is suggesting was even plausible, especially if the U.S. doesn’t participate. – Stevens
2:50 pm: Final hour of trading: Stocks are well off their highs
With roughly one hour left in the trading session, U.S. stocks traded well off their session highs as investors pored through record jobless claims and weighed the prospects of oil production cuts. The Dow was up just 40 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.4% after trading more than 2% higher while the Nasdaq chopped around the flatline. —Imbert
2:26 pm: Economists: Jobless claims spike could mean more stimulus is needed
Some economists think that last week’s record surge in jobless claims could be a sign that more fiscal stimulus is needed to cushion the coronavirus’ economic blow. “Given the incredible deterioration of the labor market in a matter of weeks, federal policymakers will absolutely need to come back and provide more desperately needed relief,” said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute. More than 6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, more than double the amount of the previous week. —Schulze, Imbert
2:18 pm: Dow gives up 534-point surge
The Dow gave back all of its gains from earlier in the day in afternoon trading, trading slightly lower. At its session high, the 30-stock average was up 534 points, or more than 3%. —Imbert
1:58 pm: Hedge fund posts return of 36% during coronavirus market turmoil, report says
Many investors have taken massive hits during the coronavirus sell-off, but hedge fund Valiant Capital Management is one of the few to capitalize from it, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The report said Valiant was up 36% for 2020 by the end of March, adding Valiant shorted levered companies it thought would be hurt from a broad economic downturn. The broader market, meanwhile, had its worst first-quarter on record as the S&P 500 dropped 20%. Click here to read the Journal’s full report. —Imbert
1:00 pm: Chanos says he is still ‘maximum short’ Tesla even with drop in last month
Short seller Jim Chanos said on Thursday that he is still betting against Tesla, even after the electric automaker’s stock fell dramatically in the past month. Since hitting that peak Tesla’s stock has fallen more than 51%. “We are still basically maximum short Tesla. It’s still one of my favorite positions,” Chanos told CNBC’s “Halftime Report.” “Nothing’s changed in my viewpoint here … It will lose money this year.” Chanos said his firm warned clients that Tesla’s recent rally from about November to February wouldn’t last. The stock more than doubled during that period, surging above $950 a share and peaking in early February. ″[That] was one of the craziest periods I’ve ever seen in my 40 years on Wall Street,” Chanos said. — Sheetz
12:45 pm: Chanos says beware the ‘virus stocks’ like Peloton, Zoom benefiting temporarily from lockdowns
Short seller Jim Chanos warned investors about piling into “virus stocks” benefiting from the coronavirus lockdown. “One area I would warn people about for example is the virus stocks,” Chanos said on Thursday on CNBC’s “Halftime Report.” They are “doing well right now in this enforced lockdown. A lot of these companies are really not structurally growth stocks that are trading at 30, 40, 50 times earnings because they are going to do well in the first and second quarters of 2020.” The founder of Kynikos Associates listed Zoom Video, Teladoc and Clorox as companies getting a boost from the stay-at-home trend amid the coronavirus pandemic. Shares of Zoom Video and Teladoc soared 85% and 94% this year respectively on a surge in demand, while Clorox gained more than 15%. The short seller added he’s not betting against Zoom Video or Teladoc. —Li
12:30 pm: Jim Chanos covered bet against China’s Luckin Coffee amid 70% plunge
Kynikos Associates Founder Jim Chanos told CNBC on Thursday that he just closed a bet against Chinese coffee chain Luckin on Thursday after first taking a short position earlier in the year on advice from fellow short-seller Carson Block and his firm, Muddy Waters Research. Luckin Coffee is down more than 70% on Thursday after it revealed in a government filing that its chief operating officer fabricated 2019 sales by about 2.2 billion yuan ($310 million). “We were short thanks to Muddy Waters, who urged me to take a look at it back in February,” Chanos said. He added that his fund covered the short position in pre-market trading on Thursday. — Franck
12:17 pm: Markets at midday: Stocks get a boost from surging oil prices
Around midday, the major stock averages were trading sharply higher, led by a massive surge in oil prices. The Dow was up nearly 400 points, or 1.9%, while the S&P 500 gained 2%. The Nasdaq gained 1.7%. Oil surged more than 20% after CNBC’s Joe Kernen reported President Donald Trump had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman. Trump also said he expects both countries to announce a production cut that would take some pressure off the oil market. —Imbert
12:16 pm: Fed’s Kaplan sees the jobless rate rising to mid-teens then falling to 8% this year
U.S. unemployment will peak in the “low- to mid-teens” before falling to about 8% by the end of 2020, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Thursday. From there, the recovery likely will be more U-shaped as consumers struggle to recover from an economic near-stoppage brought on by efforts to contain the coronavirus, the central bank official said during a “Squawk on the Street” interview. Kaplan said he anticipates a “severe contraction” in the second quarter spilling into the third quarter before a recovery begins. “The issue is, what’s the strength of the rebound?” he said. After unemployment peaks, Kapan said he sees it slipping “below 10%, probably closer to 8%.” — Cox
11:34 am: Market pares gains, but energy stocks still lead
Stocks and oil futures have given up some of their morning gains, with the Dow now trading about 200 points higher and WTI up about 20%. Energy stocks are still the best performers of the day, however, with Apache, Diamondback, EOG, Concho and Occidental Petroleum making up the top five stocks in the S&P 500, according to FactSet. — Pound
11:31 am: Jobless figures show unemployment increases concentrated in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania
Jobless claims data published by the Labor Department on Thursday showed that workers in states including Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are feeling outsized pressure on employment amid the coronavirus outbreak. Though populous California saw the most unemployment applications last week in absolute terms (878,000), Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island saw the highest concentrations of jobless claims at 73, 62 and 50 per 1,000 workers. — Franck
11:17 am: Bank of America cuts S&P 500 target to lowest on Wall Street, sees worst post-war recession in history
Bank of America slashed its S&P 500 forecast to the lowest on Wall Street as the bank now expects the coronavirus pandemic to tip the U.S. economy into the deepest recession in the post-war era. The bank on Thursday cut its year-end target on the S&P 500 to 2,600 from 3,100, which would translate into a nearly 20% loss for the full-year 2020. The new outlook represents the most bearish view on Wall Street, according to the CNBC Market Strategist Survey that rounds up 16 top strategists’ forecasts. “Amid the COVID-19 crisis, instead of a V-shaped recovery, we see risks that a lack of a synchronized health care response nationally results in weakened economic activity that drags out into 2H,” Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America, said in a note Thursday. —Li
11:14 am: Wall Street analysts bet on a bottom and upgrade more stocks, including Disney and Beyond Meat
- Atlantic Equities upgraded Disney to overweight from neutral.
- Morgan Stanley upgraded Bristol-Meyers to overweight from equal weight.
- Barclays upgraded Unilever to equal weight from underweight.
- Argus downgraded Exxon Mobil to hold from buy.
- MKM upgraded Activision Blizzard to buy from hold.
- Loop downgraded Wayfair to sell from hold.
- JPMorgan resumed T-Mobile as overweight.
- Guggenheim downgraded Disney to neutral from buy.
- Goldman Sachs upgraded D.R. Horton to buy from sell.
- DA Davidson upgraded Beyond Meat to neutral from underperform.
- DA Davidson upgraded Bank of America to buy from neutral. —Bloom
11:11 am: Shake Shack sales plunge with some stores down 90% in last two weeks
Sales at company-operated Shake Shack stores in the U.S. plunged between 50% and 90% over the past two weeks, the company announced, with same store sales down 29% for all of March. The company said it drew down a $50 million revolver credit line on March 24 and has furloughed or laid off 20% of its home office employees. Shake Shack is expanding its delivery partner options, including through Postmates and Uber Eats. The company’s stock rose 1.2% Thursday. — Pound
11:09 am: Stocks rally to session highs on oil production expectations
Stocks rallied to their highs of the day, with the Dow briefly up more than 500 points, after CNBC’s Joe Kernen reported that President Donald Trump expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut production by about 10 million barrels. Trump told Kernen he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Stocks later eased from those highs, but the Dow remained up more than 1%. —Imbert
11:08 am: Oil on pace for best day ever
U.S. oil is on pace for its best day ever, after President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia will announce an oil production cut. WTI rose more than 26% on Thursday. The commodity is still down almost 58% this year. — Francolla, Fitzgerald
10:42 am: Trump tells CNBC he spoke to Putin, MBS and expects Saudis, Russia to announce 10 million barrel cut
President Donald Trump expects Russian President Vladmir Putin and Mohammed Bin Salman to announce a deal on a production cut, the president said to CNBC’s Joe Kernen. The president is expecting a cut of 10 million barrels per day, although the cut could be as high as 15 million barrels per day. Trump confirmed the details in a tweet after the CNBC report. The president said in a tweet that a production cut would be “great for the oil & gas industry!”
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude surged more than 25%, while international benchmark jumped 35%. –Stevens
10:28 am: Starbucks shares jump on Luckin Coffee woes
10:18 am: Stocks rise again in volatile trading, Dow now up 100 points
The market climbed into positive territory in morning trading after investors digested a record surge in unemployment claims. The Dow rose about 100 points, lifted by a 6% jump in Chevron shares. The S&P 500 last traded up 0.5%. — Li
9:56 am: Jamie Dimon returns to JPMorgan after surgery
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told employees in a memo Thursday that he is “happy to be back at work.” Dimon had emergency heart surgery in early March. Co-presidents Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith led the company while Dimon was recovering. — Pound
9:31 am: Stocks open in the red, Dow falls 100 points
Stocks fell on Thursday following a historic jobless claims report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 100 points at the opening bell. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also opened in negative territory. — Fitzgerald
9:15 am: China’s Luckin Coffee plummets 80% after investigation finds COO fabricated sales
Shares of Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee tanked more than 80% in premarket trading on Thursday after disclosing that an internal investigation has found that its chief operating officer fabricated 2019 sales by about 2.2 billion RMB. The investigation found that Jian Liu, Luckin’s chief operating officer, and several employees who reported to him, had engaged in misconduct, including fabricating sales. The company said that investors should not rely on Luckin’s prior financial statements and earnings releases for the nine months ended Sept. 30. — Fitzgerald, Lucas
9:00 am: Boeing offers voluntary layoffs to employees
Boeing is offering buyout and early retirement packages to employees, according to a memo from Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun. The memo says Boeing will offer a voluntary layoff plan that allows eligible employees who want to exit the company to do so with a pay and benefits package. “This move aims to reduce the need for other workforce actions,” Calhoun wrote in the memo. — Feuer
8:58 am: Former Federal Reserve governor says jobless claims could prevent a ‘V’ shaped recovery
Former Federal Reserve governor Daniel Tarullo said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday that the historic jobless claims report, showing more than 6.6 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits, could get in the way of a sharp rebound for the economy, as many predict. “When you see numbers that are of that order of magnitude it becomes clear just how steep a decline we are suffering right now and there’s really no precedent for thinking about this,” said Tarullo. “The prospect of the “V” shaped motion here — with going down rapidly and going up rapidly — may unfortunately not turn out to be what we see and instead we will face a much tougher road.” — Fitzgerald
8:53 am: Zoom Video Communications reports 200 million daily active users in March
Zoom said that amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced people to work from home, its daily active users jumped to more than 200 million in March. The company’s prior high was 10 million. The stock was down more than 5% during Thursday’s premarket trading, although it’s up 101% for the year. —Stevens
8:48 am: Stock future turn negative after jobless claims
Stock futures gave up their earlier gains and dipped into negative territory following the record jobless claims report. Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures turned negative around 8:40 a.m. Earlier, Dow futures were up more than 400 points. — Fitzgerald
8:32 am: US weekly jobless claims double to 6.6 million
The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance continued last week as 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated 3.1 million, a week after nearly 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks. Before the coronavirus shut down major parts of the U.S. economy, the highest week for claims was 695,000 in 1982. The Great Recession high was 665,000 in March 2009. However, the sudden stop as the government has instituted social distancing policies caused a cascade of joblessness unlike anything the nation has ever seen. — Cox
7:46 am: Walgreens earnings top estimates, boosted by stock up trend from coronavirus
Walgreens Boots Alliance beat Wall Street earnings expectations Thursday, sending shares up about 3% in early trading. The drugstore chain reported earnings per share of $1.52, topping the $1.46 per share expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Revenue was $35.82 billion for the quarter, compared to the $35.27 billion forecast. Walgreens said it was on track with its 2020 forecast to have roughly flat growth before the coronavirus pandemic. — Fitzgerald
7:35 am: Energy stocks pop as oil prices rise
Alongside the jump in oil prices, energy stocks got a boost in premarket trading on Thursday. Shares of Exxon Mobil jumped nearly 6% in extended trading. Diamondback Energy and Devon Energy soared nearly 10% each. Occidental Petroleum and Apache jumped more than 10%. Energy stocks have been beaten down as demand for oil evaporated in the face of the coronavirus shutdown. — Fitzgerald
7:29 am: US oil jumps 10% on possible end to price war
US oil prices surged 10% to back above $22 a barrel on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to come to an agreement about their price war that has added to the pain for the crude market, already getting hit by an unprecedented demand slowdown from the coronavirus. WTI crude rose 9.4% to $22.22 per barrel on Thursday morning. The European oil benchmark, Brent crude, also rose 9.9% to $27.19 per barrel. — Fitzgerald
7:22 am: Investors brace for big weekly jobless claims report
The number of jobless claims for the week ending March 28 is slated to be released Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect another 4 million to 5 million workers filed for unemployment benefits as coronavirus shutdowns roll through the country. The estimates range as high as 9 million. That follows the record 3.3 million claims filed the week earlier. Many more millions are still expected in the weeks to come, and layoffs could easily double those in the financial crisis, economists said. – Li, Domm
7:16 am: US coronavirus cases top 200,000
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 200,000 Wednesday, as the country ramps up testing and outbreaks seeps into new citires. The coronavirus has now infected 203,608 people in the U.S., killing at least 4,476 people, according to Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump has warned that the country could see an even greater surge in cases over the next few weeks. White House officials are projecting 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. deaths, with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks. Global cases are now over 900,000 with more than 47,000 deaths. — Fitzgerald
7:15 am: Stock futures jump, Dow set to open up 400 points
U.S. stock futures indicated an open in the green on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average future rising 400 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were also set to open higher. The stock futures were bolstered by a 10% spike in oil, which experienced a dismal first quarter due to the coronavirus and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Stocks are coming off of a disappointing first day of the second quarter on Wednesday. The Dow closed 4.4%, or nearly 1,000 points lower. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also closed 4.4% lower each.
A big jobless claims report ahead at 8:30 am ET would likely determine the direction of the market on Thursday. — Fitzgerald
— With reporting from CNBC’s Patti Domm, William Feuer, Jesse Pound, Fred Imbert and Elizabeth Schulze contributed to this report.