(Reuters) – The Nasdaq rose in afternoon trading on Thursday as Amazon.com and Netflix surged to record highs, while worries about first-quarter earnings weighed on the Dow and limited gains in the S&P 500.
FILE PHOTO: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in the financial district of lower Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The Nasdaq outperformed the other two major indexes, extending recent gains. Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) rose to record highs as sweeping stay-at-home orders drove demand for online streaming services and home delivery of goods.
A fall for Boeing Co (BA.N) dragged the Dow down as its European rival Airbus (AIR.PA) said it was examining requests to defer deliveries after a collapse in travel demand.
Meanwhile, the shutdown in New York was extended until May 15 even as coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths fell to their lowest in more than a week, adding to evidence that the hardest-hit state was controlling its spread.
President Donald Trump is now expected to announce “new guidelines” for re-opening the economy at a news conference later on Thursday.
Wall Street has swung this week between hopes of a peaking in coronavirus cases and fears of the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, as the lockdown measures crushed business activity.
“We’re not going to see a V-shaped recovery, and I think investors will eventually realize that, so it’s premature to call a bottom in stocks at this stage,” said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc., an investment advisory firm based in Toledo, Ohio.
Latest data showed jobless claims fell slightly to 5.2 million last week from an upwardly revised 6.62 million the previous week, but the total figure for the past month still topped a stunning 20 million.
Economists polled by Reuters had estimated 5.1 million jobless claims for the week ended April 11.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 33.67 points, or 0.14%, to 23,470.68, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.37 points, or 0.30%, to 2,791.73 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 89.23 points, or 1.06%, to 8,482.41.
Wall Street’s fear gauge rose for the second straight session, while the flight from risk pressured U.S. Treasury yields. [US/]
After a 27.5% rally from its March lows, the S&P 500 index is still about 18% below its record high as first-quarter earnings kicked off with U.S. banks preparing for a wave of future loan defaults following a halt in business activity.
Analysts estimate earnings for S&P 500 companies slumped 12.8% in the first quarter, which would be the biggest quarterly decline since the financial crisis.
(GRAPHIC: S&P 500: coronacrisis vs financial crisis – here)
Morgan Stanley (MS.N) wrapped up earnings for the big U.S. lenders, reporting a plunge in quarterly profit as its advisory and wealth management businesses took a hit from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.13-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.60-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 41 new highs and 60 new lows.
Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Sagarika Jaisinghani, Shounak Dasgupta and Dan Grebler