Stock market live Tuesday: Stocks close at session highs, Dow jumps 1%, Nasdaq highest since Feb. – CNBC

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands in lower Manhattan on May 18, 2020 in New York City. Markets surged today as promising details of a potential COVID-19 vaccine were released and more European countries gradually re-opened after months of lockdown.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Stocks moved higher on Tuesday as pandemic lockdowns continued to ease. Shares of shopping center and mall operators led the gains, while big technology companies lagged behind as investors rotated out of stay-at-home bets. Wall Street also grappled with civil unrest around the country. 

Here’s what happened.

4:43 pm: Tuesday’s rally by the numbers:

  • The Dow gained 268 points, or 1.05%, its second positive session in a row. 
  • Home Depot had the most positive impact on the Dow, adding 23 points to the index. 
  • The S&P 500 gained 25 points, or 0.82%, its sixth positive session in seven.
  • The S&P hit its highest level since March 5.
  • The Nasdaq Composite gained 56 points, or 0.59%, its sixth positive session in seven. 
  • The Nasdaq hit its highest level since Feb. 21.
  • All 11 S&P sectors were positive, led by energy, which gained 2.65%. – Hayes

4:00 pm: Stocks rally into the close, Dow jumps more than 200 points

Stocks rose in the final minutes of trading and closed at the highs of the day as the economy’s reopening continued to fuel optimism in the market. The Dow jumped 267 points for a gain of 1%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8%. The Nasdaq was the relative underperformer as shares of some of the biggest tech names took a breather. The tech-heavy index gained 0.59% for the day, after earlier trading as much as 0.84% lower. – Stevens

3:42 pm: Shares of Tiffany slide 9% on merger doubts

Shares of Tiffany slid more than 9% following a report from WWD that LVMH’s deal to acquire the jeweler seems uncertain, the publication said citing sources. The two companies initially reached a deal in November, with LVMH agreeing to purchuse Tiffany for $135 per share, or $16.2 billion in cash. At the time, LVMH said that “the acquisition of Tiffany will strengthen LVMH’s position in jewelry and further increase its presence in the United States.” According to WWD, questions have since arisen based on weakness in the U.S. market. – Stevens

3:34 pm: Bank of America: Rally in value stocks ‘could have legs’

The Russell 1000 value index outperformed its growth counterpart in the final two weeks of May and that trend could continue, according to Savita Subramanian, Bank of America’s head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy. The “month Value rally could have legs,” said Subramanian. “In 14 of the last 14 recessions, Value has outperformed growth for at least 3 months when the economy showed signs of improving.” The Russell 1000 value index remains, however, more than 15% lower for the year while the Russell 1000 growth index has gained 5.5%. —Imbert

3:05 pm: Stocks have ‘room to run’ before being overbought, according to BofA

Bank of America’s Stephen Suttmeier said in a note Tuesday the S&P 500, which is up about 40% since hitting a March low, has “room to run before becoming overbought.” Suttmeier pointed out that “sector outperformance has become more broad-based” since the market plunge earlier this year, making for a “healthier market.” —Imbert

3:02 pm: Oil hits highest level since early March

Oil jumped on Tuesday, as easing lockdown measures as well as an upcoming meeting from OPEC and its oil-producing allies supported prices. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, gained 3.87%, or $1.37, to settle at $36.81 per barrel. Earlier in the session it hit a high of $36.89, a level not seen since March 6. International benchmark Brent crude settled 3.26% higher at $39.57 per barrel, also the highest since March. The move higher comes amid reports that OPEC+ is considering extending its production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day when they meet this month, rather than tapering cuts beginning July 1, which the group initially agreed to at its April meeting. – Stevens

3:00 pm: NYSE advancers lead decliners 3-1

About three stocks advanced for every decliner at the New York Stock Exchange as Wall Street built on its solid start to June. About 2,060 NYSE-listed stocks were higher while 804 traded lower, according to FactSet data. —Imbert

2:55 pm: Final hour of trading: Stocks add to solid June start

The major averages were slightly higher with about an hour left in the trading session as stocks continued their solid start to the new month. The Dow traded 148 points higher, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.4%. The Nasdaq climbed 0.2%. Bets on the economy reopening outweighed concerns in the market about the civil unrest across the U.S. —Imbert

2:25 pm: Low trading volumes in Tuesday’s session

With less than two hours left in the session, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF has only traded 40 million shares, compared with its 30-day trading volumes average of nearly 97 million shares, according to FactSet. The relatively thin trading came after the market scored back-to-back monthly gains, with the S&P 500 bouncing nearly 40% off its March low. Summer months also usually see seasonally slow trading.—Li

12:48 pm: Stocks making the biggest moves midday

  • RH — Shares of RH soared more than 13% after investment firm Stifel upped its price target on the home furnishing retailer to $265 from $150 ahead the company’s earnings report. Stifel said as many people move out of big cities, RH could be a beneficiary.
  • LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics — Deutsche Bank resumed coverage of both lab operators with buy ratings, saying that the lab industry should see a rebound in routine testing in the near term and should take market share in the longer term from less-efficient hospitals. The firm said the Covid-19 testing addressable market is greater than appreciated by the broader market.
  • JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo — Bank shares rose broadly amid mounting bets on a successful reopening of the economy. This would, in theory, increase consumer spending, thus benefiting banks. — Fitzgerald 

12:43 pm: Record inflows into bond ETFs amid Fed backstop

Exchange-traded funds that track corporate or government debt took in a record $28.5 billion in May, bringing the total inflows over the past two months to more than $50 billion, according to data from State Street Global Advisors. Investors piled in to bond ETFs in a historic pace on the back of the Federal Reserve’s commitment to support the credit market.The central bank has launched emergency programs that include purchases of corporate debt ETFs and high-yielding securities to keep credit flowing. Flanked by the Fed’s backstop, companies are racing to issue new debt, which has surpassed $1 trillion this year, double the pace of last year. “Credit may actually be one avenue to seek out a return without overextending a portfolio in an idiosyncratic market,” Matthew Bartolini, State Street’s head of SPDR Americas Research, said in a note. He added investment-grade credit is up 13% since the market lows in March. “It is a market segment that has both explicit and implicit support from the central bank,” Bartolini said. – Li

12:17 pm: S&P 500 stocks hit new all-time highs on Tuesday

  • Charter Communications (CHTR) trading at all-time highs back to its relisting on the Nasdaq in 2010
  • Lowe’s (LOW) trading at all-time high levels back to its IPO in October 1961
  • Otis Worldwide (OTIS) trading at all-time highs back to its spinoff from United Technologies in March 2020
  • Paypal (PYPL) trading at all-time high levels after its spin-off from EBay in July 2015
  • Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) trading at all-time high levels back to its IPO in August 1985
  • Ecolab (ECL) trading at all-time highs back to its IPO in 1957
  • Crown Castle International (CCI) trading at all-time high levels back to its IPO in August 1998
  • Equinix (EQIX) trading at all-time highs back to its IPO in August 2000 – Hayes

11:45 am: Markets at midday: Dow and S&P 500 rise, but tech caps gains

The Dow and S&P 500 were slightly higher in midday trading as traders continue to grapple with civil unrest in the U.S. and the economy reopening. The 30-stock Dow gained 140 points, or 0.6% while the S&P 500 advanced 0.2%. Those gains were led in large part by stocks that benefit from the economic reopening. However, the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4% as shares of major tech companies declined. —Imbert

11:23 am: Stifel raises price target on RH, stock soars 10% in midday trading

Investment firm Stifel upped its price target on the home furnishing retailer to $265 from $150 ahead the company’s earnings report on Thursday. “RH is a high ticket business and outlet sales are expected to be a 4 point drag on 2020 revenues, but the stock market has rebounded and many are moving out of big cities, which could benefit RH,” analyst John Baugh said. “We had previously modeled revenue to be down 20%, 35%, 20%, and 5% in the 2020 quarters for a total reduction of 20% for the year and now believe this to be too drastic. We only see a 15% decline in Q1 now and 5% for the year,” he said. – Bloom

10:55 am: Market rising without the help of big tech

The biggest tech and internet companies, which had led the market comeback over the past two months, underperformed on Tuesday as investors focus on the economic reopening and rotate out of the stay-at-home plays. Shares of Amazon dipped 0.8%, while Facebook fell 1.7%. Apple, Netflix, Microsoft and Alphabet all came under pressure on Tuesday, weighing on the Nasdaq Composite, which was down 0.3%. The tech-heavy benchmark has outpaced the S&P 500 so far this year, rising about 6% in 2020 and sitting just 3% below its record high.–Li

10:40 am: Cramer explains ‘backyard trade,’ Wayfair shares soar

Wayfair’s stock has jumped more than 12% in early trading after Piper Sandler raised its price target on the stock and CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the company was part of a ‘backyard trade’ created by the coronavirus pandemic. The shift toward more outside activities because of the pandemic has “rescued” Wayfair, Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” —Pound

10:35 am: Mall operators jump on hopes of reopening

As parts of the U.S. start to reopen, shares of shopping center and mall operators jumped on Tuesday. Vornado Realty rose more than 3%. Federal Realty and SL Green Realty gained 4.9% and 4.3%, respectively. Mall operator Simon Property Group also ticked up more than 3.5%. — Fitzgerald 

10:23 am: Banks rise in catch up trade as investors look to reopenings

The financials are helping to lead gains as the lagging sector continues to draw in new money. Big banks like JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo were all higher. Other financial plays like Visa and Mastercard were also rising. The S&P financial sector was up 1.2% Tuesday morning, the third best performing major sector after energy and materials.  Year-to-date, the sector is the second worst, down 22%. Financials have been getting a lift as investors trade away from technology and look for beaten down areas that would be helped by an improving economy. —Domm

10:17 am: Lowe’s hits all-time high

Shares of Lowe’s rose more than 2% on Tuesday, to hit a new all-time intraday high. The company has benefited from strength in the housing industry as states around the country begin to reopen their economies, as well as recent data that’s shown a greater-than-expected number of people buying houses. The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) has gained more than 50% this quarter, putting it on track for its best quarter on record. – Stevens

10:13 am: Western Union surges 12% on MoneyGram takeover offer

Shares of Western Union jumped more than 12% on Tuesday after a Bloomberg News report said the provider of money-transfer services has made a takeover offer for peer MoneyGram. The deal could combine two of the largest U.S. players in the space. No decision has been made, the report said. The news sent MoneyGram shares surging more than 30% in morning trading on Tuesday. – Li

10:11 am: GDP to plunge 52.8% in the second quarter, Atlanta Fed says

U.S. economic activity contracted by more than half due to efforts to contain the coronavirus, according to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow gauge. The tracker is now estimating second-quarter GDP to shrink by 52.8% following data Monday showing a continued decline in manufacturing. One upside to the plunge could be a stronger rebound in the short term, said Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research. He is projecting a 20% GDP surge in the third quarter and another 5% in Q4, followed a slower “swoosh” pattern after that. – Cox

10:10 am: Uber-Grubhub deal talks continuing with progress reportedly being made

Talks between Uber and Grubhub are ongoing, and progress is being made on the possible merger of the two companies, CNBC’s David Faber has learned. Uber first made an offer to buy the food delivery company in May, and as talks continue, people familiar with the matter said that Grubhub is focused on protecting its business during  what could be a potentially long anti-trust review. The price expectations have narrowed, according to those familiar with the matter, and the two companies seem to be getting closer to a ratio that would be agreeable to both. – Stevens 

10:06 am: Dick’s Sporting Goods says e-commerce sales more than doubled in the first quarter 

Shares of athletic retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods jumped more than 3% on Tuesday after the company said its e-commerce sales more than doubled in the first quarter. The online sales were a bright spot amid Covid-19 related store closures.  Dick’s added that the current quarter has gotten off to a strong start. The company, however, reported dismal quarterly results. Dick’s lost $1.71 per share, wider than the 57 cent loss expected on Wall Street, according to Refinitiv. Revenue and comparable-store sales also missed estimates. —Fitzgerald 

9:40 am: Here are Tuesday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Lululemon, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs & more

  • Wells Fargo downgraded Lululemon to equal weight from overweight.
  • Cowen initiated Slack as outperform.
  • Deutsche Bank reinstated LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics as buy.
  • Wells Fargo raised its price target on Goldman Sachs to $230 from $198.
  • JPMorgan named Sirius XM a top pick.
  • Deutsche Bank raised its price target on PayPal to $183 from $147.
  • Wells Fargo raised its price target on Microsoft to $250 from $205.
  • Odeon Capital upgraded Citi to buy from hold. 

Pro Subscribers can read more here. — Bloom

9:30 am: Stocks open higher, Dow up 100 points

U.S. equities opened in the green on Tuesday as investors continued to pile into riskier assets as the economy tried to reopen. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 130 points at the opening bell. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively. — Fitzgerald 

8:45 am: Large IPOs pricing this week after market rebound

There are multiple IPOs expected to raise roughly $1 billion or more this week as the market rebound and lower volatility has made companies and investors more confident in going public. The last U.S. IPO to raise more than $1 billion was GFL Environmental, which debuted on March 3, according to the Nasdaq’s website.Warner Music Group, whose offering will be priced tonight, will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker WMG, and has an estimated pricing range of $23 to $26 per share, according to securities filings. ZoomInfo will also trade on the Nasdaq, under the symbol NI. The expected pricing range is $19 to $20 per share, according to securities filings, and it is slated to begin trading on Thursday. —Pound

8:41 am: Microsoft jumps after Wells Fargo says market cap can top $2 trillion

Shares of Microsoft jumped nearly 1% in premarket trading on Tuesday after Wells Fargo said it believes Microsoft’s market capitalization can top $2 trillion in the next few years due to strength in its cloud business. The Wall Street firm — which has an overweight rating on the Satya Nadella technology giant — said the coronavirus “has created a Zeitgeist moment for the cloud as a whole,” and Microsoft’s Azure is poised to benefit. With growth in cloud revenue, Microsoft’s market capitalization can reach $2.2 trillion by 2023, the firm said. Wells Fargo has an overweight rating on the stock and hiked hiked its 12-month price target on Microsoft to $250 per share from $205 per share. —Fitzgerald

8:09 am: U.S. equities see back-to-back weekly inflows, BofA says

Bank of America said in a note that its clients were net buyers of stocks for a second week in a row as investors plowed money into ETFs. Overall, clients increased their exposure to stocks by $60 million in assets as ETFs had an inflow of $1.044 billion, offsetting the sale of single-stock holdings. —Imbert, Bloom

8:02 am: Reopening stocks head higher

7:45 am: Oil hits highest level in nearly three months

Oil moved higher on Tuesday, ahead of the meeting between OPEC and its oil-producing allies, where the current production cut policy will be discussed. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, rose 3% to hit $36.51 per barrel, its highest level since March 6. Meanwhile international benchmark Brent crude rose to $39.55, a level not seen since March 11. “OPEC+ cuts are clearly working with solid help from recovering crude oil demand, especially in Asia. An extension of the current cut levels will definitely be a further boost for the market. Not only will the market rebalance, but stock builds of oil will also feel some relief. Prices rise on this prospect and are set for higher levels if the cuts are indeed extended,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy. “Bottom line is that the market is on a recovery path. If OPEC+ extends the high-level oil production cuts, that recovery will speed up and prices won’t lag behind.” —Stevens

7:47 am: Slack jumps after Cowen rates stock as outperform

Shares of Slack rose 3.8% in premarket trading after Cowen initiated the stock with an outperform rating and a $45 price target. The price target is 21% above where trading closed on Monday. The firm said in a note that the shift to working from home during the pandemic has expanded the potential market for Slack and that Wall Street is overly worried about competition from Microsoft Teams. Slack is set to report its fiscal first quarter results after the bell on Thursday.  —Pound

7:35 am: Zoom moving higher ahead of earnings

Shares of Zoom Video gained 3% during Tuesday’s premarket trading, ahead of the company’s first quarter earnings results, which will be released after the market closes. According to estimates from FactSet, analysts are expecting the company to earn 9 cents per share, on $202.3 million in revenue. The stock gained 13.75% on Monday, hitting a new all-time high, and breaking above $200 for the first time. The video-conferencing company has seen its user base jump amid the coronavirus pandemic, and shares have gained 200% this year. –Stevens

7:34 am: Dow futures gain more than 100 points as Wall Street focuses on economy reopening

Stock futures rose on Tuesday morning as traders focused on the economic reopening and looked past the civil unrest in the U.S. Stocks that would benefit from the economic restart — such as airlines, cruise lines, some retailers and banks — led the early gains. The market has largely ignored the unrest across the U.S. However, that could change if traders believe protest could continue through the summer, potentially hurting the reopening and dampening consumer confidence. —Imbert

—With reporting from Maggie Fitzgerald, Yun Li and Jeff Cox. 

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