Finance


Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson, CEO George Whitesides and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya pose together outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) trading in New York, U.S., October 28, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

This is a live blog. Check back for updates.

3:06 pm: Final hour of trading: S&P 500 and Nasdaq head for record close as tech jumps

With roughly one hour left in the trading session, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up sharply and on pace to close at all-time highs. The Dow was up about 150 points, or 0.5%. Tech has been the best-performing sector on Wednesday, gaining more than 1%. —Imbert

2:31 pm: SmileDirectClub falls after report that top dentist could lose license

Shares of SmileDirectClub fell more than 3% after Reuters reported that the company’s top dentist may loses his California license. A complaint from the state Attorney General’s office detailed nine possible causes for discipline, including fraud, according to the report. A lawyer for the company called the complaint a “farce.” The stock is now trading at $12.60 per share, just more than half of its IPO price when it debuted in September. —Pound

2:29 pm: Huge volume in Virgin Galactic as stock soars

More than 56 million Virgin Galactic shares have exchanged hands through early afternoon trading as the space travel stock continues its massive, speculative run higher. The stock’s volume has blown by its 30-day average of 16 million shares traded. Virgin Galactic shares are also coming off their highest-ever trading volume day, exchanging hands more than 104 million times on Tuesday. —Imbert

2:11 pm: Fed minutes show rates will stay unchanged for now

Federal Reserve members at their January meeting said that interest rate policy was likely to remain unchanged for a while, according to minutes released Wednesday. Officials did make several mentions of possible dangers from the spreading Chinese coronavirus, though the deadly virus had just become an issue at the time of the meeting. “In addition, some trade uncertainties had diminished recently, and there were some signs of stabilization in global growth. Nonetheless, uncertainties about the outlook remained, including those posed by the outbreak of the coronavirus,” the minutes said. Bond yields dipped slightly after the minutes were released. — Fitzgerald

1:21 pm: GE CEO sticks by cash flow guidance despite 737 MAX delays

GE CEO Lawrence Culp said at a Barclays conference that the company should deliver between $2 billion and $4 billion of free cash flow in 2020 despite taking a big hit from the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max in the first half of the year. Culp said first quarter cash flow would be negative $2 billion, of which about $800 million could be attributed to the troubled airliner. The industrial company reported $2.3 billion of free cash flow in 2019. — Pound

12:48 pm: Fed’s Kashkari warns US could feel economic impact from persistent coronavirus

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari warned Wednesday that U.S. would likely feel economic effects if the coronavirus continues to plague Asian commerce. Speaking at a symposium in Mankato, Minnesota, Kashkari explained the impact to Asia could bleed into the U.S. if the illness persists. “China’s economy is a big engine of the world economy. So that will affect all of us,” he said. “It’s unlikely that if this continues that we’re going to be completely immune from the economic effects of a slowdown in Asia.” —Franck

12:46 pm: 58 S&P 500 stocks hit fresh record highs

Accenture, Arconic, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals are among the 58 S&P 500 stocks to hit record highs. Their moves higher lifted the broader index above a previous record of 3,385.09. Here are some of the other S&P 500 companies that notched record highs on Wednesday:

Imbert, Hayes

12 pm: Advancers outpace decliners at NYSE

Around eight stocks rose for every five decliners at the New York Stock Exchange, FactSet data shows. The market’s strong breadth came as two of the three major U.S. stock indexes —the S&P 500 and Nasdaq — reached all-time highs while the Dow was on pace to snap a three-session slide. —Imbert

11:56 am: Markets at midday: Tech jump leads S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs

Around midday ET, the major stock averages were broadly higher as technology stocks such as Apple and Nvidia outperformed. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up 0.6% and 0.9%, respectively, and both hit record highs. The Dow, meanwhile, is up 142 points, or 0.5%.Imbert

10:48 am: Tesla overtakes highest price forecast on the Street

Shares of Tesla rose more than 8% on Wednesday to $930, surpassing Piper Sandler’s $928 per share price target, which is the highest price forcast of any Wall Street firm. Piper Sandler told clients it is confident in Tesla’s push into new areas of clean energy. Tesla’s stock is getting close to its all-time high, touched on February 4, of $968.99 per share. —Fitzgerald

10:13 am: Tech ETF hits record high, momentum trade gains legs

The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) rose more than 1% to an all-time high, leading the broader market back to record levels. Shares of Nvidia and Analog Devices led the XLK higher, rising more than 4% each. Tech’s move higher was part of a broader trend Wednesday that favored so-called momentum stocks, which are defined by their high growth expectations relative to the broader market. The iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum ETF (MTUM) rose 0.4% and also reached record levels. The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) climbed 0.6% to an all-time high. —Imbert, Francolla

10 am: Trio of speculative stocks spiking

9:51 am: S&P 500 hits a record

The S&P 500 jumped 0.4% to a new record about 20 minutes after the open. Tech shares led the way with Apple up 1.1%. The stock has almost completely made up Tuesday’s decline following its revenue warning about the coronavirus. – Melloy

9:31 am: Dow rises 100 points at the open

The Dow climbed 103 points at the open, poised to snap a three-day losing streak. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite also moved up 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively. Apple rebounded from Tuesday’s losses, up 0.6%. Tesla shares are on the rise again, surging more than 6% to above $900 a piece.— Li

9:26 am: Here are Wednesday’s biggest analyst calls of the day

8:58 am: Blue Apron sinks 7%, explores “strategic alternatives” including a possible sale

Shares of the meal kit service slid more than 7% in Wednesday’s premarket trading after the company reported disappointing fourth quarter earnings and said that it was considering “strategic alternatives.” For the quarter Blue Apron lost $1.66 per share, which was larger than the $1.60 loss analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting. Revenue also missed estimates. As the company struggles – shares have shed more than 80% in the last year – the company said it was exploring options. “These alternatives could include, among other things, a strategic business combination, a capital raise through the public or private markets, a transaction that results in private ownership or sale of the company or its assets, or some combination of these,” a press release said. -Stevens

8:56 am: Garmin jumps 8% following earnings

Shares of Garmin gained more than 8% ahead of the market’s open following the company’s fourth quarter earnings results, which topped analyst expectations on the top and bottom line. The fitness device maker posted earnings of $1.29 per share, compared to the consensus of $1.05, according to estimates from FactSet. Revenue came in at $1.10 billion, ahead of the $1.01 billion expected. The company also gave upbeat guidance, and raised its dividend. -Stevens

8:53 am: Producer prices post biggest increase in more than a year

The producer price index jumped by 0.5% in January, the biggest one-month advance since October 2018, as costs in health care and hotel accommodation services climbed, the Labor Department said. Wednesday’s print easily beat a Reuters estimate of a 0.1% gain. Producer prices also gained 2.1% in the 12 months through January. —Imbert

8:51 Tesla’s stock jumps on bullish Wall Street call

8:48 am: Virgin Galactic’s speculative rally set to continue

8:47 am: Dow set to snap 3-day slide



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