US stocks set to end loser of a week with gains: April 24, 2020
US stocks ended the session sharply higher on Friday, but the three major indexes recorded weekly losses, snapping a two-week winning streak.
The driver behind that underperformance was the oil market carnage at the start of the week, which dragged the stock market down with it.
But finishing in the green on Friday is a hopeful sign for the week ahead. If investors were nervous about weekend headlines about the coronavirus and the economy, stocks would have likely closed down for the day, as was the case in many weeks since the outbreak began, experts said.
Air France-KLM Group is getting bailed out.
The airline is set to receive 7 billion euros in loans and loan guarantees from the French government -- and it's close to reaching a deal with the Dutch government for additional help.
The aid packages, announced Friday, still need the approval of the European Commission.
The airline said the deals will provide it with the means necessary to survive the coronavirus crisis, which has brought a near halt to demand for air travel around the world. The number of passengers carried by the airline fell 20% in the first quarter, with a 57% decline in March.
"I would like to thank the French state and our banking partners for this aid, which will enable the Air France-KLM Group to overcome this unprecedented crisis," said the airline's chair Anne-Marie Couderc.
Stocks are up in the early afternoon, but their weekly performance isn't looking a good.
Markets had a terrible start this week, which is weighing on the weekly performance metrics.
A crisis in the oil market, brought on by weak demand, limited storage capacity and trading technicals, dragged all sorts of assets down with it. That included stocks, particularly shares of energy companies. While the oil price has recovered some, US oil remains below $20, as the fundamentals of the market haven't improved.
Shares rose nearly 5% following the announcement. Zoom's stock is up 160% for the year.
Zoom's usage continues to spike as most people are forced to work from home. About 300 million meeting participants now use Zoom daily, the company said, after crossing the 200-million mark in March.
Stephenson will be succeeded by AT&T Chief Operating Officer John Stankey, who will take over the role on July 1.
Stephenson has served as AT&T's CEO for more than 13 years and oversaw the massive acquisitions of CNN parent company Time Warner (now known as WarnerMedia) and satellite TV provider DirecTV.
AT&T said Friday that Stephenson will remain the company's executive chairman until January 21 "to ensure a smooth leadership transition."
Stankey will join the board on June 1.
US consumer sentiment dropped 26% year-over-year this month, and 19% from March, according to the final results of a University of Michigan survey.
The final reading of 71.8 beat the consensus forecast of economists surveyed by Refinitiv. It was the lowest level since December 2011.
Economists had expected the index to come in at 68 points. The final reading was up slightly up from the preliminary April result of 71 points.
Over the next weeks, as states are beginning to restart their economies, consumer spending will be critical, said Richard Curtin, chief economist of the Surveys of Consumers. Their reaction will either put more pressure on states to reopen quicker or add pressure to extend the restrictions regardless of negative economic consequences, Curtin added.
Well, that didn't last long.
About half an hour into the trading day, stocks had already pared their gains. All three major indexes were briefly in the red.
The Nasdaq Composite, however, is the laggard of the day, down 0.2%.
Fridays haven't been great for stocks during the coronavirus crisis, as market experts have noted. That's because, given such volatility, investors are reluctant to hold onto stock positions while markets are closed over the weekend.
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.
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.