People gather at the entrance for the New York State Department of Labor offices in Brooklyn on March 20, 2020. The Federal Reserve estimates that 47 million people could lose their jobs before the COVID-19 crisis ends.
Andrew Kelly | REUTERS
This is a live blog. Check back for updates.
8:15 am: Pfizer up 1% after report says it has identified lead virus drug candidate
Pfizer shares rose before the opening bell Thursday morning after research-and-development chief Mikael Dolsten told the Wall Street Journal that laboratory results have identified a promising, but early drug candidate to fight the novel coronavirus. Dolsten told the Journal that the drug works by inhibiting the disease from replicating, suggesting the experimental drug could slow or stop the spread of the disease. The drug candidate is still in early stages and human testing will be required for ultimate proof it works and is ready for widespread administration. Pfizer shares rose 1.1% in premarket trading. —Franck
8:10 am: Trump says he wants to reopen economy with a ‘big bang’
President Donald Trump said at a White House news briefing Wednesday evening that the U.S. economy could be reopened in phases as the coronavirus pandemic recedes but that “it would be nice to open with a big bang.” The administration is eager to restart the areas of the economy that have been ground to a halt by the deadly pandemic. However, Trump cautioned that he’s relying on medical experts’ opinion and “we have to be on the down side of the slope” of the outbreak before reopening the economy. — Li
8:08 am: Starbucks down 3% after second-quarter profit warning
The price of Starbucks stock fell more than 3% in premarket trading Thursday after the coffee company said on Wednesday that it expects fiscal second-quarter earnings to be about half of what they were a year ago due to the spread of COVID-19 in China and the U.S. Starbucks said it expected adjusted earnings of 28 cents to 32 cents a share for the second quarter, down from 60 cents a share in the second quarter of 2019. “These estimates reflect the impact of lost sales for the period as well as incremental expenses for partner wages and benefits, store operations and other activities related to the COVID-19 outbreak,” the company said.
Bank of America analyst Gregory Francfort downgraded the stock to neutral on Thursday following the release. He writes: “We are concerned consumer purchasing will come out of the back of Covid-19 in a far more fragile state. We expected tempered purcahses of more discretionary purchases including premium beverages.” — Franck
7:57 am: Bank of America recording reveals a Wall Street torn between precaution and performance amid virus
On a March 25 conference call with Bank of America‘s equity and equity derivatives traders, the bank’s global head of equities, Fabrizio Gallo, laid out the stakes for those considering staying at home, especially if the crisis lasted for an extended amount of time. “At some point in time, one has to make a decision,” said Gallo to the group assembled on the phone. “And the reason why it’s called critical function is because we have a critical requirement by senior-ups to provide proper and orderly markets. And we cannot provide proper and orderly markets if 99% of the population decides they don’t feel comfortable.” The recording obtained by CNBC’s Scott Wapner underscored Wall Street’s balancing act between precaution and performance amid the pandemic. –Wapner, Li
7:52 am: Cruise and airline stocks continue strong week
Cruiselines and airlines, which took some of the biggest hits during the sell-off as global travel demand cratered, were pushing higher in premarket trading to continue a recent stretch of solid days. American Airlines and United have both risen more than 2% in premarket trading after posting double-digit gains on Wednesday. Delta rose 3.1% after climbing 4.4% Wednesday.Royal Caribbean has gained 2.6% in premarket trading and is up more than 50% for the week. Carnival and Norwegian both rose more than 3%. —Pound
7:50 am: Disney shares jump premarket after Disney+ tops 50 million subscribers
Shares of Disney rose more than 5% in premarket trading after the media company said that Disney+, its new video streaming service, now has more than 50 million subscribers. That’s almost twice as many as Disney reported on February 4, when it said in its first quarter earnings report that Disney+ reached 26.5 million subscribers during the quarter. The jump has been driven by global stay-at-home orders, as well as the introduction of the service in India where 8 million people have signed up. While Disney is benefiting from more people being home, the stock is down about 30% this year as the company has been forced to close its parks. —Fitzgerald
7:48 am: Jobless claims expected to jump by 5 million
7:42 am: Dow up nearly 30% from March low
The recent rally in stocks has the major three average all more than 20% from their March lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 28.66% from its 52-week low on March 23. The S&P 500 is up more than 25% from its March low and the Nasdaq Composite is up 22% from its low on March 23. The three averages are still 20.75%, 18.96% and 17.75% down from their February high, respectively.This week the Dow is up 11.3% heading into its last trading day of the week. The S&P 500 is up 10.5% this week and the Nasdaq Composite gained 9.74% since Monday. —Fitzgerald
7:36 am: Stock futures slide ahead of weekly jobless claims
U.S. stock futures dipped on Thursday — the last trading day of the week — as investors braced for the latest U.S. unemployment data. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 150 points, or 0.7%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also fell. The move lower comes after a rip higher on Wednesday, which put the Dow and S&P 500 both up more than 10% for the week. —Imbert
With reporting from Yun Li, Scott Wapner and Tom Franck.
Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.