Major averages end mixed with Nasdaq higher, Dow and S&P lower
Stocks seemed in the early going like they might bounce back after the CDC's warnings about its expectations for the coronavirus to spread in the U.S. extended the selloff yesterday. However, the major averages couldn't hold their early gains and all three moved into the red in early afternoon trading amid a continued flow of coronavirus headlines. President Trump announced that he will hold a coronavirus news conference at the White House after the market close today. By the close, the Nasdaq had moved back into the green, though it was the only one of the major indexes to snap its losing streak.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., new home sales beat estimates with a 7.9% January surge to a new 12-year high annualized rate of 764,000 homes.
TOP NEWS: While Bob Iger had been expected to step down as CEO of Disney (DIS) by the end of his contract in 2021, the company's announcement last night that Bob Chapek will take over as CEO immediately and Iger will assume the role of Executive Chairman came sooner than expected, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet said following the news.
A number of Wall Street analysts have raised their price targets on Salesforce (CRM) shares following what many described as "strong" Q4 results. However, Stifel analyst Tom Roderick said the "unexpected nature" of the company's concurrent announcements that co-CEO Keith Block is stepping down and Salesforce will acquire long-time partner Vlocity was "the primary culprit" behind the muted response to the financial report.
In other earnings news, Lowe's (LOW) posted a mixed Q4 report, with better than expected earnings and lower than expected sales.
Bloomberg reported that Nokia (NOK) is exploring strategic options and working with advisers to consider potential asset sales in mergers. A source close to the company, however, told Reuters that there is no truth to this report. Regardless, Nokia shares closed the session 6.1% higher.
Meanwhile, Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post that the search giant will invest more than $10B in offices and data centers across the United States in 2020.
Additionally, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said at the company's shareholder meeting that he "could not be more optimistic" about the future, noting that the coronavirus outbreak may present a "challenge," according to media reports.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Beyond Meat (BYND), which rose 2.4% after Starbucks (SBUX) announced that the company will introduce a new Beyond Meat, Cheddar and Egg Sandwich to its Canadian stores. Also higher were B&G Foods (BGS) and TJX Companies (TJX), which gained a respective 23.2% and 7.1% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Sabre (SABR), which slid 16.1% after it reported quarterly results and provided guidance for fiscal 2020. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were SmileDirectClub (SDC) and Dycom (DY), which fell 29.4% and 29.2%, respectively.
INDEXES: The Dow fell 123.77, or 0.46%, to 26,957.59, the Nasdaq gained 15.16, or 0.17%, to 8,980.77, and the S&P 500 declined 11.82, or 0.38%, to 3,116.39.