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June 20, 2020, 7:58 a.m. EDT

Stock market gives up early gains to end lower as Apple plans to re-close stores and W.H.O. says coronavirus has entered ‘new and dangerous phase’

Dow industrials notch third straight decline as some U.S. sunbelt states see record coronavirus cases

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By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch , Andrea Riquier


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U.S. stock indexes gave up strong early gains to close mostly lower Friday, after the World Health Organization signaled that the coronavirus pandemic remains a deadly threat, and Apple said it will re-close some stores due to rising case counts in parts of America, casting doubt on the speed of economic recovery. All three equity benchmarks still made weekly gains though.

How did benchmarks perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.30% closed 208.64 points lower, down 0.8%, at 25,871.46, after being as much as 371 points higher at an intraday peak at 26,451.44. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.27% fell 17.60 points, or 0.6%, to close at 3,097.74, but hit an intraday peak at 3,155.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.39% added 3.07 points, less than 0.1%, to close at 9,946.12.

For the week, the Dow rose 1%, the S&P 500 gained 1.9%, and the Nasdaq returned 3.7%.

What drove the market?

Stocks were knocked lower after Apple Inc . /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.45%   said it would re-close 11 stores in Florida, the Carolinas, and Arizona starting on Saturday, CNBC reported . The World Health Organization at a Friday briefing also said that the coronavirus pandemic has entered a “new and dangerous phase.”

Some 8.5 million people have been infected with COVID-19 world-wide and the illness has killed at least 456,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University .

The announcements come amid reports of rising coronavirus cases in those states, as well as California and Texas, which all reported record-high, single-day increases on Thursday.

“It seems like any time a COVID headline comes through during the day, markets are reacting,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading.

“I think we went up a little too much, personally,” Saluzzi said in an interview. “The big factor is the Fed. It’s a big deal that the Fed’s in the market buying corporate bonds,” he said, referring to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to help the economy recover from the financial shock from the public-health crisis.

He said, “I think we are going to be stuck here for a while until there’s clarity on the virus, and that could take months. I don’t think we’ll see new highs or new lows. I think you’ll continue to see this choppiness.”

On Friday, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren, in webcast remarks to the Providence Chamber of Commerce, cautioned that the U.S. economy isn’t likely to have a fast recovery and more support will likely be needed from the Federal Reserve and Congress, reiterating comments made by Chairman Jerome Powell earlier this week.

“Unemployment remains very high, and because of the continued community spread of the disease and the acceleration of new cases in many states, I expect the economic rebound in the second half of the year to be less than was hoped for at the outset of the pandemic,” Rosengren said.

Stocks earlier got a boost Friday from a report by Bloomberg that China plans to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the phase one trade deal signed in January. Beijing intends to step up buying of everything from soybeans to corn and ethanol as the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has meant China has only reached 13% of the 2020 target under the deal in the first four months of the year.

Still, Mike Loewengart, managing director at E-Trade Financial Corp., says that optimism around business activity resuming has overshadowed the market’s concerns around other headwinds and helped provide a lift to sectors like energy, real estate and consumer discretionary.

/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,791.44
+357.96 +1.30%
Volume: 362.50M
Aug. 10, 2020 5:12p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,360.47
+9.19 +0.27%
Volume: 2.57B
Aug. 10, 2020 5:12p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
10,968.36
-42.63 -0.39%
Volume: 3.70M
Aug. 10, 2020 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 450.91
+6.46 +1.45%
Volume: 53.10M
Aug. 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
34.27
Dividend Yield
0.73%
Market Cap
$1900.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.98M
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