- US stocks closed higher on Friday after a choppy trading session followed their worst single-day sell-off since March.
- Thursday’s slide was driven by fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases could devastate the US economy.
- Stocks tied to an economic reopening – including airlines, cruise operators, and retailers – gained Friday after leading declines on Thursday.
- West Texas Crude – $36.56
US stocks closed higher on Friday after a volatile trading session higher Friday. The gains marked a rebound from Thursday’s sharp sell-off, which saw the biggest single-day drop since mid-March.
The prior day’s slide was driven by fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases could devastate the US economy. It halted a recent equity rally fueled by investor confidence in reopening progress in the US.
Stocks tied to an economic reopening – including Carnival, United Airlines, and retailers such as Gap and Kohl’s – rebounded on Friday after leading declines on Thursday. Later in the day, financial and real-estate sectors led the S&P 500 higher.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Friday:
- S&P 500: 3,041.31, up 1.3%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 25,605.54, up 1.9% (477 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 9,588.81, up 1%
The choppy session came amid continued signs of a sluggish global economic recovery. On Friday, the International Monetary Fund said that the economy was recovering from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic slower than expected and that the crisis would leave significant scars.
The University of Michigan’s consumer survey showed that consumer sentiment jumped the most since 2016 in June, fueled by positive rehiring efforts job gains. However, two-thirds of consumers expect unfavorable economic conditions in the year ahead due to fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases and persistent high unemployment will damage consumer finances.
Recently, Robinhood traders have been piling into risky bankruptcy stocks, hoping for quick gains. A popular explanation emerged in recent days that the market’s rally had been driven by retail investors piling into stocks through apps such as Robinhood and TD Ameritrade, although a Friday analysis by Barclays discredited the theory.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump again criticized the actions of the Federal Reserve, tweeting that the central bank “is wrong so often” and predicting that the US economy will have a strong second half of 2020. Fed Chair Jerome Powell earlier this week said the US had a long road ahead.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the US can’t shut down its economy again, even as fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases increase. He also said he was prepared to ask Congress for more money to boost the US economy if necessary.