Stocks Punished as Coronavirus Fears Return



Stocks fell Friday amid concerns over the rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and its impact on the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 576.36 points, or 2.2%, by Friday noon, to 25,169.24.

The S&P 500 doffed 53.9 points, or 1.8%, to 3,030.46.

The NASDAQ Composite slouched 155.06 points, or 1.6%, to 9,863.51.

Those losses put the major averages down at least 1.3% each for the week.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday the state will roll back some of its reopening measures as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a release.

Florida announced it would suspend “on premises consumption” of alcohol at bars in the state. In Arizona, the number of cases jumped by 5.4%, topping a seven-day average of 2.9%.

Shares of companies that would benefit from an economic reopening tumbled. United Airlines, American and Delta all slid more than 4%. Cruise operator Norwegian Cruise line dropped about 4%.

The moves came after the Fed’s annual stress test of the major banks showed some banks could get close to minimum capital levels in scenarios related to the coronavirus pandemic. Because of this, banks must suspend share repurchase programs and keep dividend payments at current levels for the third quarter.

The announcement sent some bank shares lower on Friday. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase both dipped more than 3%. Wells Fargo slid 4% and Goldman Sachs fell 4.75%. Bank stocks were coming off sharp gains, rallying more than 3% during regular trading Thursday.

Meanwhile, Nike shares slid 3.6% on the back of a surprising quarterly loss for the apparel giant. The company reported a loss of 51 cents per share and revenue of $6.31 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter. Nike’s quarterly revenue reflected a drop of 38% on a year-over-year basis.

The losses Friday morning came despite a record rise in consumer spending in May. The Commerce Department reported Friday that spending increased 8.2% last month, a positive sign for the U.S. economy amid a growing number of negative coronavirus headlines.

The government’s report on how much Americans spent on goods and services in May was the largest one-month gain dating back to records beginning in 1959. Consumer spending represents more than two-thirds of economic demand in the U.S.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury rose sharply, lowering yields to 0.64% from Thursday’s 0.69%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 67 cents to $38.05 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recovered $7.90 to $1,778.50 U.S. an ounce.