US stocks set to end loser of a week with gains: April 24, 2020

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9:46 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

DraftKings shares pop in Wall Street debut

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Top NFL draft pick Joe Burrow isn't the only one celebrating Friday morning. So are investors in DraftKings, the online gambling and fantasy sports company that debuted on the Nasdaq Friday.

Shares of DraftKings (DKNG) rose nearly 15% in early trading. The company went public through a merger with a so-called special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) named Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp.

Merging with a "blank check" firm has recently become a more popular way for private companies to go public. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic (SPCE) also debuted on Wall Street via a deal with a SPAC.

DraftKings is picking a strange time to go public though. There is a dearth of live sports to bet on right now given that professional baseball, basketball and hockey are all on hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told CNN Business that gamblers are finding other things to wager on -- such as esports and Russian table tennis.

Read more of our interview with Robins.

9:32 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Stocks open higher

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks kicked off in the green on Friday, however, all three major stock indexes are on track to finish the week lower.

During the coronavirus pandemic, stocks have tended to lose steam into the weekend. Investors are reluctant to hold onto their positions while exchanges are closed, experts say.

10:00 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Factory orders collapsed in March

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

America's appetite for durable goods -- physical items that last a while, like cars, furniture and home appliances -- is slumping.

New orders for manufactured durable goods fell by $36 billion, or 14.4%, in March, according to the Census Bureau.

It was the worst month for durable goods orders since August 2014. Excluding defense, orders decreased by 15.8%, but excluding transportation, orders were only 0.2% lower.

The big impact from transportation order points at Boeing (BA) and its order cancellations as the culprit, said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING.

But even beyond Boeing, second-quarter factory orders will likely be ugly because of the coronavirus impact, Knightley said.

Orders had climbed for the three months prior to March's decline, and the coronavirus crisis will cancel hopes of a rebound. While demand vaporized, on the supply side plants also shut down or changed the way they operate to prevent the spread of the virus.

7:59 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

DraftKings goes public during a live sports drought

From CNN Business' Julia Horowitz

Right now, no baseball, basketball or hockey games are being played. Football, if the season starts on time, won't be ready to kick off until late August for college and September for the pros.

Even so, shares of DraftKings, a company that runs fantasy sports games and lets people make legal wagers on sporting events, will start trading Friday.

The company's stock will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "DKNG" after it completed its merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp, a so-called special purpose acquisition company. This route, also employed by Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, reduces some of the hurdles to going public or selling new shares.

CEO Jason Robins told CNN Business that he's confident DraftKings can still perform well in a sports vacuum. British sports betting companies such as GVC Holdings, which owns Ladbrokes, have seen shares outperform the market as online gaming soars during lockdown.

But sports betting companies could come under pressure depending on how long shutdowns continue.

7:08 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

US stock futures indicate a slightly higher open

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Here's where futures stand at 6:20 am ET:

The Dow rose 3% over the past two weeks. That's one impressive rally, considering the mountain of joblessness and business destruction that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the economy.

This week ... not so much. Despite Thursday and Friday's gains, the Dow is still on pace to tumble.

6:19 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Global stocks falter as Gilead halts trial of potential coronavirus treatment

From CNN Business'  Sherisse Pham and Jazmin Goodwin

Global stocks slumped Friday after a study into a potential coronavirus treatment was halted following inconclusive results.

  • South Korea's Kospi Index (KOSPIfell 1.4% in afternoon trade
  • Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225slid 0.9%
  • China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) was down about 1%
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSIdipped 0.4%.

Asia's major indexes were already struggling this week as countries released dismal economic data and as an historic oil price crash roiled markets.

Now, they're poised to close out their first week in negative territory since early April after drug maker Gilead (GILD) said it terminated a trial of Remdesivir early, and thus had no conclusive findings about its effectiveness in treating Covid-19. Shares in the company closed down 4.3% on Wall Street on Thursday.

European markets are broadly lower today with shares in Germany off the most.

  • The DAX in Germany is down 1.05%
  • France's CAC 40 is off 1.04%
  • London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.93%

Read more here.

6:21 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Treasury says public companies should repay their PPP loans

From CNN Business' Alicia Wallace

When the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program quickly ran dry, the big companies that landed large loans drew the ire of small businesses and their advocates.

Small business owners sued their banks and "cancel culture" swung into action against such well-known brands like Ruth's Chris (RUTH), Shake Shack (SHAK) and Potbelly (PBPB) that secured $40 million in PPP loans among them.

In recent days, companies like Shake ShackKura Sushi USA and the privately held Sweetgreen buckled under the public scrutiny and announced plans to return the funds.

Now the government is hoping the others pay up.

Under new Treasury guidance issued Thursday, PPP borrowers must certify "in good faith" that they absolutely need the loans to keep operating. That includes taking into account aspects such as business activity and their ability to access other sources of capital.

Read more here.