(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow dropped on Thursday as investors worried about another round of business shutdowns to contain a surge in coronavirus cases and began to shift their focus to earnings, though the Nasdaq registered another record closing high.FILE PHOTO: Traders wear masks as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
The United States saw more than 60,000 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, setting a single-day global record while Florida and Texas reported a record one-day increase in deaths.
Investors also began to turn their focus to the second-quarter earnings season, which shifts into higher gear next week. S&P 500 companies are expected to post the biggest quarterly decline in earnings since the financial crisis, based on IBES data from Refinitiv.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) tumbled 8.2% after it reported a quarterly loss compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by non-cash impairment charges of $2 billion as COVID-19 disrupted business at its Boots UK division.
“I expect a lot of confusing numbers and guidance. COVID is certainly not behind us in any way shape or form, so maybe the V gets elongated some,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 360.64 points, or 1.38%, to 25,706.64, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 17.74 points, or 0.56%, to 3,152.2 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 55.25 points, or 0.53%, to 10,547.75.
Helping stocks early in the day was data showing the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits dropped to a near four-month low last week, but a record 32.9 million people were collecting unemployment checks in the third week of June.
A batch of upbeat economic data including the record pace of job additions in June has underscored that the stimulus-fueled domestic economy was on the path to recovery.
The benchmark S&P 500 has risen more than 40% from its March closing lows.
In a bullish signal for near-term momentum, the benchmark S&P 500’s chart formed a “golden cross” pattern, in which its 50-day moving average vaulted above the 200-day moving average.