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US stocks close higher as investors turn to tech stocks amid rising COViD-19 cases

Overall, stocks have moved higher in November amid clarity following the US election and positive news on potential coronavirus vaccines

NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. - Wall Street set for mostly lower start

4:05 pm: US equities rise in late-session turnaround

US stocks closed higher after recovering from earlier losses as investors turned to tech stocks amid rising COViD-19 cases.  

Stocks also got a lift after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to resume negotiations on new fiscal stimulus. 

On the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56 points, or 0.19%, to 29,495. The S&P 500 increased 0.47% to 3,582 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 0.87% to 11,904. 

12:30 pm: Dow sheds 100+ points but Nasdaq gains

Markets were mixed Thursday as traders weighed rising coronavirus casesand jobless claims against the promise of coming vaccines. 

An analysis from CNBC of Johns Hopkins University data found that the seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases in the US is now at 161,165, up 26% from last week.

The Dow fell 199 points, 0.4%, to 29,318.96 at midday. The Nasdaq Composite rose 66 points, 0.6% to 11,868.28, and the S&P 500 was nearly flat, down 3.5 points, 0.1%, to 3,564.25.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) was one of the harder hit stocks, dropping 2.9% to $37.12.

11 am: Proactive North America headlines:

Western Magnesium Corporation (CVE:WMG) (FRA:M1V) (OTCMKTS:MLYF) says it continues to operate at full capacity during the current challenging times

Predictmedix Inc (CSE:PMED) (OTCQB:PMEDF) announces tie-up with India's premier defence technology firm to target government and public sector market

Maverix Metals Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:MMX) (TSE:MMX) (FRA:7781) names industry veteran Tara Hassan as independent board director

Tinka Resources (CVE:TK) (OTCPINK:TKRFF) (FRA:TLD) adds a third drill rig at its Ayawilca zinc-silver project in Peru

Walcott Resources  Ltd (CNSX:WAL) (OTCMKTS:WALRF) (FRA:WR2)  engages geological consultant to steer exploration at Australian silver projects

Great Bear Resources Ltd (CVE:GBR) (OTCQX:GTBAF) to nominate experienced mining industry executive to board; set for webinar on November 30

PyroGenesis Canada Inc (CVE:PYR) (OTCQB:PYRNF) (FRA:8PY) graduates to Toronto Stock Exchange from TSX Venture Exchange

Loop Insights Inc (CVE:MTRX) (OTCQB:RACMF) teams up with Finnish firm to develop end-to-end coronavirus test and trace platform

Empower Clinics Inc (CSE:CBDT) (OTCQB:EPWCF) (FRA:8EC) hails Kai Medical Laboratory's new test protocol that differentiates between influenza strains and coronavirus

Mawson Gold Limited (TSE:MAW) (OTCPINK:MWSNF) (FRA:MXR) says Joki East prospect is shaping up to be fourth potential resource area at Rajapalot

9.41am: Wall Street heads lower

The main indices on Wall Street turned lower on Thursday morning as an unexpected rise in US weekly jobless claims dampened market sentiment.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.64% at 29,249, while the S&P 500 fell 0.63% to 3,545 and the Nasdaq sank 0.26% to 11,771.

The decline followed figures that showed US initial jobless claims rose to 742,000 in the week to November 14, up from 711,000 the week before and going against economist expectations of a fall to 707,000.

“It looks as though the increase in initial claims reported today is not a one-time fluke; more likely, it captures the beginning of an upward trend which will persist until the Covid wave subsides.  We hope to see the case numbers peaking by the middle of next month, though much depends on the extent of the inevitable upward kick which will be triggered by Thanksgiving gatherings, but that still means that layoffs could continue to rise through the year-end", said analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

"Continuing claims will follow initial claims upwards.  Strength in the goods economy could offset weakness in services in November payrolls, but the outlook for December is clearly deteriorating, making it ever-clearer that Congress needs to act very soon, unless they believe that a wasteland in the services sector is a good base for the post-Covid recovery”, they added.

7.52am: Wall Street set for mostly lower start 

After yesterday’s heavy losses, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are set for a gentler decline while the NASDAQ Composite is tipped to open higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is pegged to open around 49 points lower at 29,389 while the broader-based S&P 500 is expected to shed 4 points to open at 3,564.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite is seen rising 66 points at 11,867, although stock in Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) was off in pre-market trading after the bourse's operator announced the US$2.75bn cash acquisition of anti-financial crime management specialist, Verafin.

Iconic department store Macy’s Inc has somewhat set the tone with a third-quarter loss of US$91mln, equivalent to 29 cents a year.

“Virus fears have hit an overextended global stock market this morning,” said Chris Beauchamp at IG.

“After the soaraway gains of the past two weeks, equities now look much more richly-valued, and thus vulnerable to an outbreak of bad news. This is precisely what we got in the form of spreading infections in the US but also in Japan, a worrying sign indeed for a country that had been successful earlier in the year in controlling the spread. Even reports of success for AstraZeneca’s new vaccine were not enough, the impact of these vaccine announcements having been on a declining trend since the first, excitedly-received news from Pfizer almost three weeks ago. There appears to be little desire to chase equities at these levels, and perhaps rightly so, with markets looking priced for perfection and still vulnerable to some short-term turbulence,” Beauchamp said.

Colorado became the most recent state to urge its residents to refrain from traveling on around next week's Thanksgiving holiday, as it attempts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Today’s US economic diary features a number of releases, including the weekly jobs figures and existing home sales for October.

Daiwa Capital Markets reports that sales are likely to record a slight dip in October, albeit from already elevated levels.

“Following the disappointing NY Fed manufacturing survey released earlier this week, the latest manufacturing surveys from both the Philadelphia and Kansas Fed will also be of some interest to see whether a broader slowdown in momentum might be at play. Finally, today will also bring the Conference Board’s leading indicator for October and the weekly jobless claims report,” Daiwa reported.

Four things to watch for on Thursday:

  • The macro calendar will be in focus with US jobless claims figures for the week to November 14. Consensus predicts the figure will fall to 707,000 compared to 711,000 in the prior week
  • Also in the macro diary is the latest Philadelphia manufacturing index for November, which is expected to decline to 25 from 32.3, as well as the Kansas Fed manufacturing index which is expected to fall to 18 from 23
  • In the earnings calendar, first quarter figures are expected from financial software firm Intuit Inc (NASDAQ:INTU), as well as third quarter numbers from discount clothing store chain Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:ROST)
  • Share price reaction will also be eyed from department store chain Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) after the company swung to a loss in its third quarter which was less bad than the market had feared

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