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Dow drops more than 100, all eyes on Tesla, coronavirus names fall


Elon Musk

Mike Blake | Reuters

This is a live blog. Check back for updates.

9:31 am: Dow slips more than 100 points from record high

The Dow fell about 123 points at the open, slipping from a record high reached in the previous session. The S&P 500 is down 0.3%, while the Nasdaq dipped 0.5%. The losses came as a sharp rise in reported coronavirus cases fueled concerns that the epidemic would disrupt the global economy. Travel companies with high China exposure led the decline, with Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands down 2% each.  Tesla is down 2.3% at the open.— Li

9:21 am: Why Tesla isn’t down more

Two analysts heralded news of Tesla’s new $2 billion stock offering as a smart move for CEO Elon Musk and the rest of the carmaker’s board. Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities told CNBC that he thinks the sale is “a smart strategic move. It takes any doomsday scenario around cash crunch, or limiting some of their strategic initiatives, off the table.” Meanwhile, Pierre Ferragu of New Street Research said that while he wasn’t expecting the cash grab, it makes sense that Tesla would want to bolster its balance sheet given its recent valuation surge. “Although we don’t see any reason for the company to consume material cash in coming quarters and years, the company remains exposed to macro fluctuations and would weather an economic downturn better (i.e. without slowing expansion plans) with a stronger balance sheet,” Ferragu wrote. — Franck

9 am: Here are Thursday’s biggest analyst calls

8:45 am: Inflation, claims data fails to move market

Markets reacted little to Thursday morning data that was close to expectations. The headline Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in January, meeting expectations. On a year-over-year basis, CPI was up 2.5%, also in line. The core gain, excluding food and energy, increased 2.3% for the year, a notch above the 2.2% forecast by economist surveyed by Dow Jones. At the same time, weekly jobless claims rose 2,000 to 205,000, beneath the 210,000 estimate. Stock market futures continued to point to a 150-point drop for the Dow, while government bond yields held in negative territory. —Cox

8:32 am: Alibaba slides 2% despite strong results

Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba slid 2.4% in Thursday’s premarket trading despite better-than-expected results. For the third quarter the company reported adjusted earnings of $18.19 per share, which was ahead of the $15.75 per share analysts had been calling for, according to estimates from FactSet. Revenue also topped expectations, coming in at $161.45 billion versus the consensus estimate of $159.28 billion. The China-based company said that results were boosted by strength in e-commerce and cloud computing. —Stevens

8:29 am: NetApp tanks 13% after disappointing earnings

Shares of data management company NetApp dropped 13.5% during Thursday’s premarket trading after the company’s third quarter earnings results fell short of Street expectations. The company earned $1.16 per share for the quarter on revenue of $1.40 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.18 per share and $1.46 billion in revenue, respectively, according to estimates from FactSet. Guidance was also light, and the CFO said he would be retiring by the end of the fiscal year. —Stevens

8:27 am: Coronavirus-related names take a beating again

Shares of travel companies were under pressure again in premarket trading following a sharp rise in reported coronavirus cases. Casino stocks with big revenue exposure to China are down big with Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands sliding 2.7% and 2.3%, respectively. Airlines, which took a big hit after halting their services in China, fell again after rebounding this month. Shares of United Airlines dipped 1.7%, and American Airlines dropped 1.4% in premarket.— Li

8:18 am: Tesla shares slide on $2 billion stock offering

The electric car marker’s stock dropped more than 4% in the premarket on news Tesla will offer $2 billion in common stock. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, will buy up to $10 million from that offering while board member Larry Ellison will also buy up to $1 million in common stock. The proceeds from this offering, Tesla says, will be used to “to further strengthen its balance sheet, as well as for general corporate purposes.” — Imbert

8:04 am: Dow futures drop 200 points as reported coronavirus cases jump

Stock futures are under pressure after the number of reported coronavirus cases increased, stoking once again fears of an economic slowdown stemming from the virus. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 200 points, indicating a loss of around 180 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 losses also pointed to sharp losses. China said it confirmed 15,152 new cases and 254 additional deaths. That brings the country’s total death toll to 1,367 as the number of people infected jumped to nearly 60,000. To be sure, the jump in cases may be due to the way Chinese authorities are counting them. Health authorities in Hubei province said Thursday that they changed the way they tabulate case totals — “clinically diagnosed” cases now count toward the “confirmed case” count, resulting in the sudden surge among the latter. Tesla shares dropped 5% on —Imbert

—With reporting by Jeff Cox and Michael Bloom.

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