Stocks rebounded from session lows to end mixed on Thursday, as investors digested corporate earnings results and developments on China’s coronavirus. Reports showed the World Health Organization (WHO) called the outbreak a local Chinese emergency, helping to calm fears of an international epidemic. However, stocks in China fell the most since May overnight after authorities put two cities on lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the respiratory disease. On Wall Street, the Dow slipped 26 points. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%.
Six of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory, with Health Care and Energy sectors leading laggards. Industrials outperformed following a rebound in airline companies. American Airlines gained 5.2%, while United Airlines advanced 1.9%. In earnings, Texas Instruments rose 0.4% after the chipmaker posted positive quarterly results and improved its current-quarter revenue forecast. Proctor & Gamble slipped 0.8% after the consumer products giant missed Wall Street sales expectations for the first time in five quarters, but increased its full-year guidance. Comcast lost 3.7% after reporting a drop in video-subscribers. Apparel-maker VF Corp. slumped 9.6% following disappointing quarterly sales and a reduction to its full-year outlook.
Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year note down three basis points to 1.73%. On the data front, initial jobless claims came in at 211,000 in the most recent week. Separately, the Leading Index of Economic Indicators declined more than expected in December. In commodities, WTI crude lost 2.0% to $55.58/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.3% to $1,561.40/ounce.