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S&P 500 closes barely higher as investors balance pandemic with recovery

CoronavirusMay 11, 2020 04:31PM ET
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© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By Stephen Culp (NYSE:CULP)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 closed barely higher, eking out a nominal gain on Monday as investors weighed new spikes in coronavirus infections with expectations that an economy crippled by mandated shutdowns will soon be re-opened for business.

Technology and healthcare shares provided the biggest lift to all three major U.S. stock indexes and led the tech-heavy Nasdaq to its sixth consecutive advance.

The blue-chip Dow lost ground.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average remain within 20% of all-time highs reached in February, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is within 10% of its closing record.

Indeed, despite bleak recent economic data, including Friday's 20.2 million drop in U.S. payrolls, Wall Street has gained in recent weeks as investors look beyond pandemic to recovery.

"Investors have been buying equities given the realistic expectation that massive fiscal and monetary stimulus will reignite economic and profit growth," said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York. "There is still a fair amount of optimism in the markets, but this could be quelled if coronavirus cases re-emerge."

But a surge of new coronavirus infections in Germany and South Korea suggested early efforts to lift restrictions could be premature, even as businesses around the world, shuttered by social distancing restrictions, begin re-opening their doors.

"There's really no playbook for a health crisis like the world is now experiencing," Carter added. "With no playbook, there's much less certainty and markets are more likely to vacillate."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 109.33 points, or 0.45%, to 24,221.99, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 0.39 points, or 0.01%, to 2,930.19 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 71.02 points, or 0.78%, to 9,192.34.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, four closed in the black, with healthcare (SPXHC) enjoying the largest percentage gain.

First-quarter earnings season is nearing the final stretch, with 440 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 67.5% have beaten Wall Street estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

In aggregate, S&P 500 earnings are seen to have dropped by 12.1% in the first quarter, compared with a year ago.

Drug distributor Cardinal Health Inc (N:CAH) jumped 6.7% as the pandemic boosted third-quarter sales.

Chesapeake Energy Corp (N:CHK) slid 12.2% after it said bankruptcy is among the options under consideration as the shale driller copes with plummeting oil and gas prices.

Marriott (O:MAR) missed first-quarter profit margins by a wide margin as bookings plunged. The hotel operator's shares lost 5.6%.

Shares of Under Armour Inc (N:UAA) plunged 9.7% after the athletic wear company forecast a 50% to 60% drop in the second quarter as many of its stores remain shuttered.

Packaged food company General Mills (N:GIS) said it expects to surpass its fiscal 2020 sales expectations as consumers stock their pantries amid lockdowns, sending its stock up 1.8%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.68-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.20-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 104 new highs and 10 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.09 billion shares, compared with the 11.39 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

S&P 500 closes barely higher as investors balance pandemic with recovery
 

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Comments (27)
Midway Eholdings
Midway Eholdings May 11, 2020 7:23PM ET
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We old school school traders will continue to crush you younger guys untill you learn from your mistakes instead of crying and blaming others.
Mark OConnor
Mark OConnor May 11, 2020 7:23PM ET
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In what way? What are the mistakes?
Midway Eholdings
Midway Eholdings May 11, 2020 7:23PM ET
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Mark OConnor ignoring what the market is telling you. Lots of shorts making excuses why the market is wrong and they are correct. Blaming the president, the fed etc. The minute you have a postion thats losing you are wrong. Figure out why.
Dietmar Stahl
Dietmar Stahl May 11, 2020 6:16PM ET
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I see a big ression or depression lurking out there same as after 1918/19. As longer you wait to reopen as more jobs you damage but as sooner you open desto more infections you get. 300000 less is also less demand that get passed thru the lines.
Yisroel David
Yisroel David May 11, 2020 4:31PM ET
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I’m shorting the market. No way it’s going to just keep on going up when infections undoubtedly spike and the unemplyment and businesses colapsing come home to roost. TTYL
Sun Moon
Sun Moon May 11, 2020 1:23PM ET
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BOLO for stories that the virus has "now infected the food supply."  I predict that's where they'll take this nonsense next.
Tricky Dick
TrickyDick May 11, 2020 1:08PM ET
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It seems they just interchange the headlines and leave the content the same on this site
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo May 11, 2020 1:00PM ET
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This site is censored as my post to reveal the truth is being blocked
Davante Dawkins
Davante Dawkins May 11, 2020 1:00PM ET
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Do you have another place you cant post this truth because im really interested in hearing about this
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo May 11, 2020 12:58PM ET
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A club for men in Asia is currently in h'ot waters as the source for new infections and cell tower data are being used for contact tracing
Sergio Marin
Sergio Marin May 11, 2020 12:47PM ET
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And back to green :)
Patrick Joly
Patrick Joly May 11, 2020 12:20PM ET
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Why not simply writing the market is down because it is not up and it is up because it is not down? I think I have just find my new job, financial analyst!
William Gustafson
William Gustafson May 11, 2020 12:20PM ET
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amen.
Tricky Dick
TrickyDick May 11, 2020 11:53AM ET
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So last week, we were upbeat, upbeat, upbeat, upbeat. Today we are glum, glum, glum. Give me a freakin' break, and start printing real news.
Nolann Janvier
Nolann Janvier May 11, 2020 11:53AM ET
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where would you get this "real news" though, not against what you say, just wanna know what other sources you would reccomend.
Tricky Dick
TrickyDick May 11, 2020 11:53AM ET
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Nolann Janvier  How about by starting by questioning some of the data that comes out of China, like the US data is questioned. Last week, not one eyebrow was raised over China's data. Really? Not one analyst was suspicious?
Dev Raj
Dev Raj May 11, 2020 11:49AM ET
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world gdp is 80 trillion dollars and debt is 300+ trillion dollars ... Normally, if debt is 70% of GDP then we say it is dangerous but debt here is more than 300% ..so we need to watch out for recovery after post covid ..
Thom Miller
Thom Miller May 11, 2020 11:41AM ET
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A terrible disease has infiltrated the White House Oval Office. Oh, and they have Covid-19 there, too....
Midway Eholdings
Midway Eholdings May 11, 2020 11:35AM ET
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Yeah huge drop in the market wow
FoyFoy Chairak
FoyFoy Chairak May 11, 2020 11:22AM ET
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Yo we need 80% unemployemnt to make the dow rise here
Michael Redden
Michael Redden May 11, 2020 11:21AM ET
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Humans are fed up with sitting around. I feel a momentum shift coming. Bullish
Matt Kay
Matt Kay May 11, 2020 11:21AM ET
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Found the smart guy! /s
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy May 11, 2020 11:21AM ET
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New wave!!!! South Korea had 34 new infections!!!!!! Sky is falling!!!
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 11, 2020 11:21AM ET
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You don't understand the transmissibility rate, whichI think is 2.5. That number will grow fast if left unchecked. 34 will infect 85 others, and those 85 will infect another 212, who will infect another 530, who will infect 1325...
Eric Haberman
Eric Haberman May 11, 2020 11:21AM ET
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and a few people get a cold.. scary!
jayakumar vinayagamoorthy
jayakumar vinayagamoorthy May 11, 2020 11:14AM ET
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dow slips bcoz... oil is not needed, dow rally bcoz seeing recovery..what a ******on these kind of articles.
Sonia Noh
Sonia Noh May 11, 2020 9:58AM ET
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cmon guys fear for the second wave was there from the get go. this card is too late n to soon at the same time
John Casablancas
John Casablancas May 11, 2020 9:47AM ET
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buying opportunity
DJ Ryte
DJ Ryte May 11, 2020 9:47AM ET
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Sure, if you are on a two year view. No good to buy high and have to sell low in the near term especially when inflation hits at the same time
John Casablancas
John Casablancas May 11, 2020 9:47AM ET
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I as I said, buying opportunity. market up 2% up since last trading day. In trading you can't wait 2 years to make money
Adriyan Sayed
Adriyan Sayed May 11, 2020 9:40AM ET
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what is market want..?
Goldy Jawa
Goldy Jawa May 11, 2020 9:38AM ET
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its all manipulation going on in the stock market..the market is not acting sensibly as per the economic and job loss data..there is no reason for market to go upward when the economy is in such a bad shape..
Jan Buyle
Jan Buyle May 11, 2020 9:33AM ET
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I think we are still in the first wave actually... it is not because people think it was over that is is...
Arul Alagan
Arul Alagan May 11, 2020 9:32AM ET
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I Request Stock Market Analyst Dont Say The Reason For Today's Market Down...
Janne Luoto
Janne Luoto May 11, 2020 9:32AM ET
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indeed! like rubish newspapers
Tricky Dick
TrickyDick May 11, 2020 9:32AM ET
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Oh thank you. My biggest wish ever. I wish they would just shut up instead of making it up. The articles on this site are 100% for comedy
Jin News
Jin News May 11, 2020 9:32AM ET
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Agreed. Just say it's profit taking after the highs. Normal occurance for stock markets
steven gitt
steven gitt May 11, 2020 9:08AM ET
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title correction: Stock market continues to have red and green days as it has since inception
Elvis Durant
Elvis Durant May 11, 2020 8:45AM ET
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Virus is Fake Hoax. Come on now!
Adrian White
Adrian White May 11, 2020 8:45AM ET
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Yes. Since if something is fake, it's not real. Which means you said it's not a real hoax, therefore, the virus is real.
 
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