US stock exchanges hardly change – Gilead Sciences weighed down

Dusseldorf The US stock exchanges closed little changed on Thursday. Relief from US economic data initially supported Wall Street. A media report on disappointing test results with the remdesivir agent for the possible treatment of Covid-19 then depressed the mood in late trade.

The standard value index Dow Jones closed 0.2 percent higher at 23,515 points. The technology-heavy Nasdaq stagnated at 8494 points. The broad S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent to 2797 points.

Last week, 4.4 million Americans applied for US unemployment benefits. In the previous week, however, the number of initial applications had been around a million higher.

The markets rated this as positive, even if a recession could not be averted, said Steven Blitz, chief economist for the USA at the research house TS Lombard. Investors appear to be betting that the economy will recover quickly if the restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic are relaxed.

However, Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Spartan, advised against excessive expectations. “The worst of the pandemic is probably behind us,” said Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Spartan. “But with the oil price at the current level, there is a threat of a wave of layoffs in the US energy sector, which will nullify the effects of a restarting economy.”

The US crude oil grade WTI rose 23 percent to $ 16.95 a barrel (159 liters) after its price fell below zero for the first time at the beginning of the week. At the beginning of March – before the outbreak of the virus crisis in the USA and before the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia – WTI had still cost twice as much.

This drop in price is a problem especially for shale oil producers. According to experts, because of the complex fracking process, they only work profitably at a price of around $ 50.

Focus on individual values

Nevertheless, investors also accessed these values. The shares of companies like marathon, Occidental or Apache won up to eleven percent. The papers of the oil multinationals Exxon and Chevron each advanced about three percent. The paper from the company active in health care was also among the top values UnitedHealth with plus 3.0 percent.

The titles of Las Vegas Sands, which rose by around twelve percent. The casino operator expects the important Asian business to recover quickly as soon as the travel restrictions there are lifted. Competitors’ shares Wynn and MGM won up to 8.6 percent.

Eli Lilly shares jumped to a record high at $ 162.56. With a smaller plus of 2.1 percent to $ 159.93, they finally went out of the day. Investors recognized the 40 percent year-over-year increase in sales of the blockbuster drug Trulicity for diabetes to a quarterly record of $ 1.2 billion.

By contrast, the shares of Target, even though the retailer’s online sales almost quadrupled in the past quarter, making up for lost business from closed stores. However, the company warned of shrinking profit margins due to wage increases for employees. Target shares lost 2.8 percent.

The titles of Crocs even slipped by more than 16 percent. Known for its rubber slippers, the shoe manufacturer fell short of market expectations with quarterly sales of $ 281.2 million and earnings of $ 0.16 per share. The company also warned of further losses in the current quarter due to virus restrictions.

Among the losers Gilead Sciences with a discount of 4.3 percent. The company denied a media report of disappointing test results with the remdesivir agent for the possible treatment of Covid-19.

The study in China was terminated prematurely due to a lack of participants and was therefore not statistically meaningful, the US pharmaceutical company explained. The Financial Times has presented the process inappropriately, the World Health Organization accidentally posted a draft clinical trial on the Internet. The UN organization confirmed the breakdown and said the document had been removed after the error became known.

Quarterly reports were also in view.

Air Products & Chemicals Withdrawn the 2019/20 financial year forecast for earnings per share from the figures. The industrial gases manufacturer’s paper then gave way by 1.5 percent.

The chip manufacturer’s quarterly report, which was announced after the market closed, was also eagerly awaited Intel, whose shares in the Dow lost 1.8 percent. Intel ultimately disappointed with its earnings outlook for the second quarter, whereupon the papers gave in even more after-hours.

The share certificates of Snap down. The makers of the photo app Snapchat want to get $ 750 million (695 million euros) of fresh money on the market in the face of the corona crisis via convertible bonds.

In the US bond market, trend-setting ten-year government bonds rose 5/32 points to 108 16/32 points and returned 0.603 percent. The euro exchange rate went up and down in US trade and ultimately slid below the $ 1.08 mark again. At the close on Wall Street, the common currency was $ 1.0771. The European Central Bank set the reference price at $ 1.0772 (Wednesday: 1.0867). The dollar thus cost 0.9283 (0.9202) euros.

More: Read here what moves the German stock market on Thursday.

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