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MarketWatch MarketPulseAug 14, 2020
S&P 500 ends week and day higher but fails to book record close as market succumbs to lack of fresh catalyst
U.S. stocks closed lower Friday and booked weekly gains, but trading to end in mid August suggests that it may be tough sledding ahead for investors hoping to find further gains, with the S&P 500 within a striking distance of its record close, as stimulus talks are all but dead and data point to a slow and fitful economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic reports, including unemployment claims and retail spending, continue to suggest the economy is recovering, but at an unsteady pace as the virus fails to submit efforts to quash it throughout the country. A report on retail sales in July rose 1.2%, and increased by 1.9% once stripping out for auto and gas. Meanwhile, second-quarter productivity jumped 7.3%, while second-quarter unit labor costs surged by 12.2%. Separately, a reading on industrial production rose 3% in July for the third straight monthly gain after sharp declines in March and April, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Investors continued to wait for developments on a coronavirus relief package from Congress but lawmakers have broken for recess until Labor Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 34 points, or 0.1%, at 27,931 and booked a weekly gain of 1.8%, while the S&P 500 index finished the day nearly unchanged at 3,372 but notched a weekly gain of 0.6%, ending Friday's trade about 14 points from a record close. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.2% lower at 11,019 and logged a weekly gain of less than 0.1%. Tech stocks have been at the vanguard of the current recovery for stocks but have seen gains peter out in recent trade. Meanwhile, on U.S.-China trade talks, both sides have canceled plans for a virtual weekend meeting to assess their so-called phase one trade deal as it hits its six-month mark.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulseAug 14, 2020
IQiyi's stock plunges on heavy volume after SEC probe disclosure, weighs on Baidu shares
Shares of iQiyi Inc. plunged 15% on heavy volume Friday, in the wake of the China-based streaming video service's disclosure of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission related to certain acquisitions and investments. Trading volume was 38.5 million shares, enough to make the stock the 7th-most actively traded on major U.S. exchanges, and more than 7-times the full-day average. The SEC investigation follows a report issued by short seller Wolfpack Research in April. Analyst Rob Sanderson at Loop Capital Markets said said investors "should not be incrementally rattled by the announcement of the SEC investigation," as the lack of content and heavy post-COVID-19 attrition was already well known. The disclosure of the investigation was in the company's second-quarter earnings report out late Thursday, in which iQiyi reported a narrower-than-expected loss and revenue that rose more than forecasts, according to FactSet, while online ad revenue and subscribers missed, Loop's Sanderson said. Separately, the stock's selloff was helping knock Baidu Inc.'s stock down 6.1%. In Baidu's second-quarter report, the China-based internet search and marketing company said revenue iQiyi represented about 27% of total revenue. Year to date, shares of iQiyi have shed 12.4% and Baidu have lost 7.5%, while the iShares MSCI China ETF has rallied 12.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.5%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatchAug 14, 2020
Metals Stocks: Gold declines for the session, posts first weekly loss since early June
Gold futures end lower Friday, pulling back after two straight days of gains, with prices registering their first weekly loss in 10 weeks, pressured by recent strength in U.S. Treasury yields.

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Gold futures mark first weekly loss in 10 weeks (MarketWatch MarketPulse)

MarketWatch MarketPulseAug 14, 2020
GM should spin off electric-vehicle business, Deutsche Bank says
General Motors Co. would do well in spinning off its electric-vehicle operations and capabilities into a standalone company, "which could force the market to recognize its robust EV technology and upcoming (vehicle) lineup," analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a note Friday. That recognition would unlock "considerable" shareholder value, give the new company access to cheap capital to fund expected growth, and provide it the ability to attract and retain talent, the analysts said. GM seems to be considering the option, they said. Tesla Inc. , Nikola Corp. and others have reaped the benefits of that market attention, which stands "in sharp contrast with depressed legacy automakers' value," the Deutsche Bank analysts said. "This is particularly striking in the case of GM and VW, which actually have strong EV capability and upcoming product plans," they said. This "reflects massive investment flows towards vehicle electrification startups, at the expense of incumbent industry participants, and raises the question of how to get investors to recognize the value of electrification technology within large legacy organizations." The analysts reiterated their buy rating on GM, and kept their price target on the stock at $33, saying that an EV spinoff "could boost it considerably further." GM shares have lost 24% this year, contrasting with gains around 4% for the S&P 500 index in the same period.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulseAug 14, 2020
Stocks fall at the open, with coronavirus aid in question
U.S. stocks opened mostly lower on Friday, as investors digested so-so economic data against the backdrop of stalled negotiations over extending coronavirus aid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 119 points or 0.4% to open near 27,778, while the S&P 500 lost 8 points, 0.2%, to open near 3,370. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index bucked the trend, opening at 11,046, up about 3 points. Retail sales volumes grew 1.2% in July, below expectations, but boosted by upward revisions to prior months. All eyes are on consumer working and spending patterns now that existing fiscal relief has expired, and negotiations for an extension seem to have broken down in Washington. Shares of Tesla Inc. jumped at the start of trading, opening above an earlier record of $1,643.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatchAug 14, 2020
Deep Dive: Value stocks, which trade lowest to growth stocks since 2001, look like a smart play as the economy rebounds
Diane Jaffee of TCW Group says value stocks tend to outperform when investors look ahead to better times.

Yahoo BusinessAug 14, 2020
Oil Set for Weekly Gain With U.S. Rebound Outweighing IEA Report
(Bloomberg) -- Oil headed for a second weekly gain as signs an energy demand recovery in the U.S. is gaining traction outweighed a more pessimistic report from the International Energy Agency.Futures in New York edged higher near $42 a barrel Friday and are up around 3% for the week. A slew of encouraging data on U.S. crude stockpiles, gasoline consumption and refinery activity spurred the biggest daily jump in three weeks Wednesday. The optimism was tempered the following day as the IEA cut its global demand estimates for almost every quarter through the end of 2021.The agency's steepest downgrades were for the second half of this year and it said the outlook for jet fuel consumption had worsened in the last few weeks as the coronavirus spread more widely. On a brighter note, the IEA said that world markets should tighten during the rest of the year as activity recovers and Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations keep production in check.Crude closed at a five-month high on Wednesday and is threatening to break out of the tight range it's been trading in for the last couple of months. That promises to be tough though, as it will need to overcome a still-surging coronavirus and large inventory overhangs. However, an expected increase in Chinese buying later in the year may lend some support."This week's inventory data was supportive, but the next significant catalyst that the market is focused on could be the U.S. coronavirus stimulus package," Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp Ltd., said
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