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U.S. equities post mixed weekly results amid coronavirus worries, earnings

New York, US | XINHUA | Wall Street’s major averages posted mixed results during the past week as investors digested a slew of earnings reports while weighing the impact of surging coronavirus infections.

For the week ending Friday, the Dow gained 2.3 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent, and the Nasdaq lost 1.1 percent.

The S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges by total market cap, logged a weekly decline of 4.6 percent.

“It remains to be seen just how quickly the U.S. economy can recover from the current recession,” analysts at Zacks Investment Management said in a note Saturday.

“In our view, this uncertainty can leave many investors, especially those nearing or in retirement, fearful of what’s to come,” they said.

Investors grew concerned about the economic implications of a recent surge in coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States, and a batch of economic data released this week failed to quell the nerve.

The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer sentiment index fell to 73.2 in the first half of the month, down from 78.1 in June. Analysts had predicted that the consumer sentiment for the beginning of the month would be about 79.

U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, came in at 1.3 million in the week ending July 11, following a revised 1.31 million in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast 1.24 million new claims.

The smaller-than-expected decline in weekly jobless claims indicated the pandemic threatened the pace of labor-market recovery, experts noted.

Over the past four months, more than 51 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims.

More than 3.67 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 139,000 deaths, as of Saturday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

On other data front, U.S. retail sales, according to the Commerce Department, climbed 7.5 percent in June, exceeding market expectations.

Investors also paid close attention to corporate earnings.

Netflix reported second-quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations, pushing the stock down 6.52 percent on Friday.

Many U.S. bank giants also reported this week. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase delivered strong second-quarter results. Wells Fargo posted a 2.4 billion U.S. dollars of loss in the second quarter.

The estimated earnings decline for the S&P 500 is 43.8 percent for the second quarter, according to data from FactSet as of early July.

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