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US stocks rebound Friday

By SCOTT REEVES in New York | | Updated: 2020-06-13 02:06
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US stocks rebounded Friday, regaining some of the loss incurred yesterday in the market's worst day since mid-March.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 271 points higher, or about 1.1%. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.6%. The major averages were off their session highs, however. The Dow had gained more than 800 points earlier in the day.

Brick-and-mortar retailers Gap and Kohl's were pummeled Thursday, but rebounded Friday as traders apparently put aside – at least for now – fears that a second wave of the coronavirus would stall plans to re-open the economy.

"We can't discount the fact that there is a lot of money sitting on the sidelines," Brian O'Reilly, head of market strategy for Mediolanum International Funds, a Dublin, Ireland-based provider of financial services, told The Wall Street Journal.

"It's a trading market at the moment – more than a long-term fundamentals market – so on any setback like yesterday, you're likely to see people come in an bid the market higher."

Friday's rebound may be a case of traders buying the dip – picking up stocks at depressed prices. If so, that suggests selling ahead to pocket profits and more market turbulence ahead.

Overall, market stability appears to remain tenuous.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange's Volatility Index, a gauge of expected volatility based on S&P 500 options and often called the "fear index", dipped to 37 Friday from 40 on Thursday.

In early trading Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 755.49 point, or 3.01 percent, to 28,815.81. The S&P 500 gained 2.51 percent. The Nasdaq Composite added 2.52 percent.

On Thursday, the Dow lost 1,861.82 points, or 6.90 percent, and closed Thursday at 25,128.17. The S&P 500 lost 188.04 points, or 5.89 percent, to 3,002.10. The Nasdaq Composite fell 527.62 points, or 5.27 percent, and closed at 9,492.73.

On Friday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the guide for US oil prices, gained $0.50 to $36.87 a barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, added $0.71 to $39.26 a barrel. The price of oil is a proxy for future economic activity.

The plunge in retail sales during the coronavirus pandemic is being felt among landlords.

Simon Property Group, the largest US mall owner, said it will end its $3.6 billion deal to acquire Taubman Centers, an owner of high-end malls.

Taubman said it will "vigorously contest" Simon's action in court.

In a statement, Simon said the deal gives it the right to end the transaction if the pandemic "disproportionately" damaged Taubman.

"Taubman's significant proportion of enclosed retail properties located in densely populated major metropolitan areas, dependence on both domestic and international tourism at many of its properties, and its focus on high-end shopping have combined to impact Taubman's business disproportionately due to the VODID-19 pandemic when compared to the rest of the retail real estate industry," Simon said in a statement.

Simon is suing Gap, it's largest non-anchor tenant, for alleged failure to pay rent during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, mall owner CBL & Associates warned that its ability to remain in business is doubtful as retailers failed to pay rent and forced the company to miss an interest payment.

In early trading Friday, Simon's shares gained 5.15 percent to $72.62 a share.

Quicken Loans plans to launch an IPO, CNBC reported citing people familiar with the matter. The largest mortgage lender in the US is working with Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley in a deal that could be valued at tens of billions of dollars, making it one of the biggest deals of the year, the cable network said. No date has been set.

Mortgage applications have bounced back despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"While April economic data has been uniformly awful, more recent data on purchase applications indicate significant pent-up demand for housing," Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington said in a statement.m. "Housing demand is strengthening as more states ease restrictions on activity and people get back to work."

British Airways, pummeled by declining revenue as demand for air travel collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic, plans to sell art worth millions, The Evening Standard, a British newspaper, reported. About 10 pieces, including one valued at $1.26 million, that had been displayed at airport lounges will be sold. Sotheby's, an auction house, has been retained to value the art.

IAG, British Airway's parent, said in April that the airline may cut as many as 12,000 jobs to reduce costs.

Revenue in the aviation industry is expected to decline 50 percent to $419 billion in 2020, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade group based in Montreal, Canada comprised of 290 carriers worldwide, said in a statement

Airlines must cut fares to attract customers, but must maintain social distancing and therefore can't fully book flights.

"Every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses," IATA director General Alexandre de Juniac told Reuters. "Airlines will still be financially fragile in 2021.

After rallying on hopes of re-opening the economy, US airline stocks have been clipped in recent trading.

"The autumn of discontent is gradually approaching," Jamie Baker, an analyst at JP Morgan, said in a research note to clients. "We do not believe the current pace of equity ascent can be potentially maintained for much longer."

Goldman Sachs modestly increased the outlook for auto sales in 2020 to negative 14.5 percent year-over-year from negative 17 percent. Analysts at the New York investment bank expect sales to increase 8.5 percent in 2021.

On Friday, Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of electric automaker Tesla to "neutral" from "buy" because the stock trades above the 12-month price target, or an estimate of full value.

But Goldman Sachs lifted its rating of General Motors Co.'s stock to "buy" from "neutral" and raised its price target to $36 a share from $25.

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