Nasdaq leads charge as more states ease lockdowns

U.S. equity markets gained Monday despite concerns U.S. states are reopening too quickly after an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Asia.

South Korea, Japan and Singapore were among the countries to report an increase in new infections. COVID-19 has infected 4.1 million people worldwide and killed more than 283,000, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. More than 1.4 million of those infected have recovered.

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All three of the major averages were trading higher after sliding at the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the last to regain the flat line, erasing a 261-point decline.

At least 13 U.S. states are relaxing stay-at-home orders on Monday. Michigan will allow manufacturing laborers to return to work while restaurants, salons and barbershops in Indiana will be permitted to reopen with limitations.

Looking at stocks, Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened to move the electric-car maker’s headquarters out of California after health officials in Alameda County said the company’s factory could not yet reopen from its COVID-19-related shutdown. The company on Monday reported Model 3 sales in China fell 64 percent in April.

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AMC Entertainment Holding Inc. soared after British newspaper The Daily Mail reported Amazon was interested in buying the embattled movie chain.

United Airlines pulled its $2.25 billion debt offering without providing an explanation.

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On the earnings front, Marriott International Inc. reported a 92 percent drop in first-quarter profit as COVID-19 eliminated nonessential travel.

Under Armour lost $589.7 million in the three months through March as sales fell 23 percent from a year ago. The sports-apparel maker, which recorded a $436 million restructuring charge, plans to cut operating costs by $325 million in 2020.

Oil explorer Continental Resources lost $186 million as oil prices plunged 67 percent during the first three months of the year. The company slashed oil production by 70 percent in May.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded down 2.43 percent  $to24.14 per barrel after Saudi Arabia announced it was cutting production by an additional 1 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, gold slid 0.85 percent to $1,695 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up 4.5 basis points to 0.724 percent.

European markets ended mixed with France’s CAC down 1.31 percent, Germany’s DAX weaker by 0.73 percent and Britain’s FTSE edging up 0.06 percent.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.53 percent and Japan’s Nikkei added 1.05 percent while China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.02 percent.

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