Stocks started the day weaker after China reported that coronavirus cases in its Hubei Province were revised sharply higher amid the return of employees to work due to a change in methodology. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the CDC confirmed another infection with Coronavirus Disease, or COVID-19, marking the nation's fifteenth confirmed case. The coronavirus fears looked like they would spark a pullback in the market, but the major averages have recovered to come off their early lows and turn mixed near midday.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims edged up 2,000 to 205,000 in the week ended February 8. The Consumer Prices Index rose 0.1% in January while the core rate was up 0.2%, as forecast.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Tesla (TSLA) initially headed lower after the electric car maker said it plans to raise $2B by selling shares through a public offering. CEO Elon Musk, who had said last month that it didn't make sense to raise money since the company expected to generate cash, will buy up to $10M in shares. Commenting on the announcement, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives told investors that he views the stock offering as "a smart move" and it appears that the market agrees as the stock has reversed course and is now nearly 4% higher near noon.
Cisco (CSCO) shares have slid over 5% lower after the networking gear maker met expectations in fiscal Q2. Citi analyst Jim Suva said that while both the results and outlook were inline, the company's product orders were down 6%, which is worse than the down 4% three months ago.
Alibaba (BABA) shares are little changed after the Chinese e-commerce giant reported better than expected quarterly results and said that its overall revenue growth rate will be negatively impacted in the March quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak.
MGM Resorts (MGM) reported results that Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen said were worse than he feared in the fourth quarter even though he had "low expectations." The casino operator, which also withdrew its FY20 financial targets, announced a new $3B share repurchase program, raised its quarterly dividend, and announced that Jim Murren will step down from his position as Chairman and CEO, has seen its stock slide 5% in reaction to its wealth of headline news.
PepsiCo (PEP) reported better than expected sales and earnings in the fourth quarter of 2019 and said it expects to deliver 4% organic revenue growth and 7% core constant currency EPS growth in this year.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Equifax (EFX), which rose 4% after it reported quarterly results and provided guidance for the first quarter and fiscal 2020.
Also higher after reporting quarterly results were Redfin (RDFN) and Hubspot (HUBS), which gained a respective 14% and 9%.
Among the notable losers was Bloom Energy (BE), which slid 9% after it said it would restate prior financial statements due to an accounting error.
Also lower were SunPower (SPWR) and Nu Skin (NUS), which fell 16% and 13%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 38.64, or 0.13%, to 29,512.78, the Nasdaq was up 7.20, or 0.07%, to 9,733.16, and the S&P 500 was up 1.29, or 0.04%, to 3,380.74.