Stocks rise despite continued unrest spreading in U.S. cities
Equity markets in the U.S. and abroad are extending gains as more economies reopen and expectations rise that governments will add even more stimulus to the already sizable amounts previously implemented. The rally continues despite souring China relations and persistent civil unrest in the U.S. remaining headwinds.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In energy markets, WTI crude oil prices hit a new three-month high ahead of the open. At Thursday's OPEC+ meeting it is widely expected that existing production cuts are likely to be extended beyond the end of June.
TOP NEWS: Share prices for gunmakers are continuing to surge amid social unrest and COVID-19 uncertainty. Yesterday, the FBI reported that National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks increased by an adjusted 75.2% year-over-year in May and Lake Street analyst Mark Smith has said he views the "unprecedented" firearm demand as likely to continue into June and through the presidential election this fall. Publicly traded gunmakers include Sturm, Ruger (RGR), Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI), and Vista Outdoor (VSTO).
Shares of Western Union (WU) and MoneyGram (MGI) are both trading higher following a media report yesterday speculating about the potential combination of the two largest remittance firms. After Bloomberg's Ed Hammond reported that Western Union recently made an acquisition offer for MoneyGram, BTIG analyst Mark Palmer said the emergence of online competitors such as TransferWise, World Remit, Remitly, and Azimo, as well as PayPal's (PYPL) Xoom, could signal that "the market denominator is sufficiently large" for such a theoretical deal to be approved.
Apple (AAPL) has cut the prices of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone SE in China ahead of a major online shopping festival held in June, CNBC reported.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Wayfair (W), which rose 13% after Piper Sandler analyst Peter Keith raised his price target on the stock, saying industry checks with suppliers and retailers indicated "steady/strengthening" online sales for home furnishings in May compared to April. Also higher was Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA), which advanced 15% after Bristol-Myers (BMY) reported positive ulcerative colitis data that analysts said had positive read-through to Arena's own drug in the same class.
Among the notable losers was Tellurian (TELL), which fell 7% after Stifel analyst Benjamin Nolan downgraded the stock to Sell from Hold with a price target of $0.10, down from $8.00.
Also lower was Seadrill (SDRL), which fell 20% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 139.03, or 0.55%, to 25,614.05, the Nasdaq was down 28.54, or 0.30%, to 9,523.51, and the S&P 500 was up 6.54, or 0.21%, to 3,062.27.