Stock market news live: Stocks see record closes after China tariffs plan

U.S. stocks shook off fears of the coronavirus for another day chasing European and Asian equities higher during Thursday’s session.

4:02 p.m. ET: Stocks see record closes

The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 had record closes, as did Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), and Apple (AAPL).

Here’s where the major indices had settled as of 4:02 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.33% or +11.09 points to 3,345.78

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.30% or +89.19 points to 29,380.04

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.67% or +63.47 points to 9,572.15

  • Crude oil (CL=F): +0.53% or +0.27 to 51.02 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F+0.43% or +6.70 to 1,569.50 per ounce

3:14 p.m. ET: Tesla’s recent surge reflects two things, expert says

Cresset Capital’s Jack Ablin says Tesla’s stock price is a proxy for the dying automotive industry and slowing oil producing countries.

2:23 p.m. ET: Half of China Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins shops closed for coronavirus

Dunkin’ Brands has temporarily closed roughly half of its Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins shops in China due to the still-spreading deadly coronavirus, Bloomberg reports. The company is distributing masks to employees at the rest of its shops.

12:25 p.m. ET: SpaceX considering spinning off and listing Starlink business for IPO

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is planning on spinning off its Starlink business and listing it as a public company, a source familiar with the matter told Yahoo Finance. Bloomberg first reported the news on Thursday, citing remarks from SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell at an investor event in Miami.

SpaceX’s Starlink unit has deployed more than 240 satellites to beam internet access from space, and will start delivering internet services this summer, Shotwell said, according to Bloomberg.

11:56 a.m. ET: Yum’s Pizza Hut woes may not be all bad

YUM Brands (YUM), which posted quarterly earnings that showed a drag from Pizza Hut’s soft traffic, is down sharply on the day. Last year, Pizza Hut announced plans to shut down hundreds of its dine-in locations by the end of 2020, in order to double down on delivery.

However, Placer.ai, a data analytics firm, says it may not be all bad news:

As we took a closer look at one of the Michigan locations that recently closed, we see significant cannibalization between it and another nearby Pizza Hut location. Meaning, many of the locations were likely acting as a direct competitor – taking business away from one another.  

Eliminating the lower performing Pizza Hut, in this case, was actually a form of strategic optimization.  Closing locations has resulted in a dip in foot traffic in the second half of 2019, but it could also be laying a better foundation for ongoing growth and success. 

In fact, Walmart saw a similar effect about a year ago, when it shut down some of its locations.

11:30 a.m. ET: Boeing jumps as FAA makes constructive 737 MAX comments

Via Bloomberg, Boeing’s (BA) engineers have discovered a new software problem on the grounded 737 Max that must be patched before the plane can return to service, according to Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson. However, he added that the plane could make a certification flight within the next few weeks, and the new software issue shouldn’t result in an extensive delay.

Recall that Boeing capped an ugly 2019 with a massive yearly loss — its first in over 2 decades. Investors greeted that news by bidding up the stock. In late morning trade, the shares are up over 2%.

A Boeing 737 Max airplane being built for Norwegian Air International turns as it taxis for take off for a test flight, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Wash. The chairman of the House Transportation Committee said Wednesday that an FAA analysis of the 737 Max performed after a fatal crash in 2018 predicted "as many as 15 future fatal crashes within the life of the fleet" during opening remarks at the committee's fifth hearing on the Boeing 737 Max. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

11:01 a.m. ET: Casper Sleep opens at $14.50 per share after pricing IPO at $12 apiece

Shares of mattress company Casper Sleep (CSPR) opened for trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $14.50 per share. This was 21% above its initial public offering price of $12 per share set Wednesday evening.

Casper’s IPO price of $12 per share had been at the low end of its expected range. Wednesday’s pricing of 8.35 million shares raised just over $100 million for the company.

At the highs of Thursday’s session just after shares began trading, Casper’s stock surged to as much as $15.39 per share, giving it a market capitalization of $611 million. That valuation has sunk considerably from its last private valuation, which at $1.1 billion had designated Casper a “unicorn” with a market value north of a billion dollars.

In its prospectus, Casper revealed a net loss of $67 million on revenue of $312 million from January through September 2018.

9:34 a.m. ET: S&P 500, Dow hit record highs after China says it will roll back some tariffs

U.S. stocks held onto gains into market open, with each of the three major indices advancing just after the opening bell. Both the S&P 500 and Dow rose to record highs.

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:34 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.23% or +7.65 points to 3,342.34

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.26% or +74.98 points to 29,365.83

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.15% or +16.02 points to 9,524.70

  • Crude oil (CL=F): -0.3% or -0.15 to 50.60 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F+0.29% or +4.50 to 1,567.30 per ounce

7:52 a.m. ET: Twitter’s stock jumps 8% in early trading after topping 4Q sales, user growth expectations

Twitter (TWTR) posted fourth-quarter revenue and user growth that exceeded consensus expectations, driven by a jump in ad sales from the company’s home market. Fourth-quarter earnings and guidance for the current quarter, however, were short of consensus estimates.

Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Revenue: $1.01 billion vs. $994.5 million expected

  • Adjusted earnings per share: 17 cents vs. 28 cents expected

  • Average monetizable daily active users: 152 million vs. 148.1 million expected

Twitter’s average monetizable daily active users (mDAU) jumped 21% in the fourth quarter, more than doubling the 9.6% gain in mDAU the company posted in the same quarter last year. For the last three months of 2019, U.S. mDAU grew 15% to 31 million, while international mDAU grew 22% to 99 million.

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7:51 a.m. ET: Yum Brands posts mixed 4Q results

Yum Brands (YUM), the parent company of fast food restaurants including Taco Bell, posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations and disappointing sales at its Pizza Hut chain. Shares were down more than 2% to $104.49 each during the pre-market session.

Here were the main metrics from the report:

  • Revenue: $1.69 billion vs. $1.65 billion expected

  • Adj. earnings per share: $1.00 vs. $1.13 expected

  • Worldwide same-store sales: +2.0% vs. +2.1% expected

  • KFC same-store sales: +3% vs. +2.9% expected

  • Taco Bell same-store sales: +4% vs. +3.1% expected

  • Pizza Hut same-store sales: -2% vs. 0% expected

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7:45 a.m. ET: Stock futures point to fourth straight session of gains after China announces reciprocal tariff reduction

Contracts on each of the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq were on track for a fourth consecutive day of gains, wiping away last week’s declines driven by fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement from China’s Ministry of Finance asserting that the country would halve tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. imports on Feb. 14 also helped boost sentiment. On the same date, the U.S. is also due to lower tariffs on Chinese imports, as part of the previously agreed-upon phase one trade deal between the two countries.

China’s tariff reduction will lower the rate on some tariffs to 5% from 10% previously, and others from 2.5% from 5%.

Here were the main moves during the pre-market session, as of 7:45 a.m. ET:

  • S&P futures (ES=F): 3,347.00, up 12 points or 0.36%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 29,356.00, up 115 points or 0.39%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,424.50, up 43 points or 0.46%

  • Crude oil (CL=F): $51.19 per barrel, up $0.44 or 0.87%

  • Gold (GC=F): $1,568.30 per ounce, up $5.50 or 0.35%

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on on February 4, 2020 in New York City. The markets rebounded after a fall last week on coronavirus fears. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

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