S&P 500, Dow dip on rising virus cases, elevated jobless claims

NEW YORK (Reuters) - the S&P 500 Index closed lower on Wednesday on the disappointing data on the spread of the coronavirus and the risk of re-introduction of quarantine measures.

NEW YORK, June 19 ― Wall Street struggled for direction yesterday as investors weighed a resurgence in coronavirus infections and the possibility of a new round of shutdowns against data that suggested the United States economy might not bounce back with quick, V-shaped recovery.

The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 9,946.12 points, up 3.07 points, or 0.03 percent.

Thursday's main focus will be the weekly initial jobless claims report, with economists expecting a total of 1.3m new filings in the week ended 13 June.

Despite Texas, California, Arizona and Florida all reporting their biggest one-day increases in Covid-19 case numbers, shares in companies tied to the reopening of the USA economy like United Airlines and Kohl's were both higher at the open.

The Dow added 265.92 points, or 1%.

Earlier in the week, investors had been cheered by a string of economic data suggesting that the USA economy is recovering, with retail sales rebounding and jobless claims easing. Those gains came after a record surge in US retail sales and the Federal Reserve announcing it will buy individual corporate bonds. "We suspect there are a lot of people who sold at the bottom, and now they have regret and remorse over not buying sooner", said Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

Oil prices rose, sending USA crude back near $40 a barrel and fueling hopes for rebounding demand.

AMC Entertainment fell 11 cents, or 2%, to $5.52 in a volatile day of trading. The Shanghai Composite rallied 1%.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow slipped after rising more than 1% earlier, as an increase in oil prices supported views of an economic recovery.

USA stock indexes staged a powerful reversal on Friday after Apple Inc. said it would temporarily close some of its stores due to a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in US states. The original version incorrectly said the indexes rose at least 1.7%.