The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands in lower Manhattan on May 18, 2020 in New York City. Markets surged today as promising details of a potential COVID-19 vaccine were released and more European countries gradually re-opened after months of lockdown.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
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9:03 am: KB Home CEO cites unemployment in earnings call as company reports 57% drop in net orders
KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger cited the country’s high unemployment as Covid-19 took hold as contributing to the company’s order slowdowns and cancellations. “These people that canceled, where you lost your job, you have to get your job back to come back and buy from us again,” he said. Overall, the company reported a 57% year-over-year drop in net orders. Mezger added that cities like Las Vegas and Orlando were hit particularly hard based on their dependence on travel and tourism. “It’s people where their income dropped because they’re no longer working overtime or their job scope changed or they’re no longer getting tip income if they’re working at a casino in Vegas because they were closed. And so their income dropped,” he said. Following the call, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the comments were a “wake-up slap in the face of what’s really happening” in some areas of the country. Shares of the homebuilder dropped more than 14% in premarket trading. –Stevens
8:43 am: Initial jobless claims disappoint at 1.48 million, but total claims improve
The Labor Department’s jobless report came in worst than expected as 1.48 million Americans filed for state unemployment benefits during the week ended June 20, marking the 14th straight week that filings remained above 1 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected first-time applications to total 1.35 million.Though the weekly number did disappoint, one bright spot was that the total number of those receiving benefits continued to fall. Total recipients of unemployment benefits, or continuing claims, fell by 767,000 to 19.52 million. — Franck, Cox
8:24 am: Biden leads with voters, but Trump ahead on economy, CNBC survey shows
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows Vice President Joe Biden with a nine-point lead on President Donald Trump, but the incumbent still gets higher marks about his economic policies. Voters gave Trump a six-point lead when asked about policies for jobs and the economy, but that was the only category where the Republican led. Biden’s best category was racial equality, where he led by 25%. —Pound
8:22 am: Virgin Galactic stock up ahead of 2nd glide flight test
Shares of Virgin Galactic popped as much as 2% in premarket trading after the space tourism company announced it planned to conduct the second glide flight test of its spacecraft in New Mexico. The company said that, given the flight is scheduled during market hours, it will not provide updates on social media during the flight but instead will send an update about the flights results after the market closes. The glide flight tests are a precursor to it beginning rocket-powered flights, which Virgin Galactic has completed before at its test facility in California. —Sheetz
8:20 am: Travel stocks sink in premarket trading
Shares of airlines and cruise lines struggled ahead of the opening bell. United Airlines dropped by 5.8%, while American and Delta both fell more than 4%. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line plunged 7.3%, while Royal Caribbean and Carnival lost 6.2% and 6.7%, respectively. The acceleration of coronavirus cases in some states, and the quarantine for some travelers ordered in northeastern states, clouded the outlook for the travel industry’s recovery. —Pound
8:18 am: KB Home drops 14% after earnings
Shares of KB Home slid more than 14% in premarket trading after the company reported second quarter results. The homebuilder did beat earnings estimates, but revenue came up short and the company said sales fell 11% year-over-year. Deliveries were down 10% and net orders dropped 57% as Covid-19 hit business. “The prolonged stay-at-home public health orders, resulting economic shutdown and our conservative approach to navigating the uncertain environment significantly impacted our orders during the quarter. However, following a low point in April, we are very encouraged by the resilience of housing market demand,” said Jeffrey Mezger, KB Home chairman and CEO. –Stevens
8:16 am: Jobless report looms amid market jitters, 1.35 million initial claims expected
The Labor Department will publish its weekly jobless report at 8:30 a.m. ET in what’s expected to be the 14th straight week with initial claims totaling more than 1 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones anticipate another 1.35 million American workers first-time claims during the seven-day period ended June 20. Though a reading of 1.35 million would mark a deceleration from the prior week’s 1.5 million, the figure is still far above any print seen during the pre-Covid era.
The jobless report will also come amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Florida, Texas, California and Arizona, a development that has spooked investors in recent sessions and sparked fears of even longer economic shutdown. — Franck
8:14 am: More than 45,000 virus cases confirmed
The U.S. saw on Wednesday its biggest one-day spike of coronavirus cases, with over 45,000 infections confirmed, according to NBC News. That breaks the previous record set in April by more than 9,000. The spike comes as states gradually reopen their economies and ease restrictions on social distancing. States such as California, Texas and Florida have reported record infection numbers recently. In Arizona, only 12% of intensive-care unit beds are available. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have issued quarantine orders for visitors coming from certain hotspot states.
8:13 am: Dow futures drop more than 200 points after big sell-off on Wednesday