US STOCKS-Wall St recovers losses as financial gains, energy gain

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* Disney slips when theme parks reopen

* Boeing slows after Berenberg downgrade

* Dow, S&P and Nasdaq flat (Add comments, details, update prices)

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

June 25 (Reuters) – Major Wall Street indices were virtually flat on Thursday as gains in financial and energy stocks helped rebound early losses due to an alarming rise in new coronavirus cases and high requests unemployment.

All three indices turned positive briefly in the session, one day after posting its worst day in two weeks.

“It seems that the market may have entered a new stage of need for leadership. It does not appear that concerns about the resurgence of a virus are enough to really begin to form a downward stretch of a W-shaped recovery, ”said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“But without a new catalyst to give market participants some optimism, stocks may not be able to go much higher.”

Increases in new coronavirus cases in the United States will likely trigger closings in some places, but not a national closure, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, as several states saw a record increase in infections.

Meanwhile, the data showed that the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits fell less than expected last week, likely as hiring for the reopening of companies is partially offset by a second wave of layoffs.

The resurgence of virus cases in the United States threatened to halt a Wall Street rally fueled by a series of global stimuli since late March.

After reaching 5% of its all-time high in early June, the benchmark S&P 500 index has lost nearly 6% in the past two weeks, and analysts warned further declines amid worsening economic forecasts.

At 10:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.73 points, or 0.01%, to 25,444.21, the S&P 500 fell 0.99 points, or 0.03%, to 3,049.34. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.56 points, or 0.01%, to 9,908.61.

Wall Street’s fear indicator, the CBOE volatility index, rose to 34.52 points.

The S&P banks sub-index rose 1.7% as US banking regulators unveiled a couple of rules that will make life easier for big banks with complex investment and trading portfolios.

After the markets close, the Federal Reserve will publish the results of the stress tests for lenders.

The energy sector gained around 0.9%, as oil prices recovered.

Public and industrial services registered the largest decreases among the main S&P sectors.

Walt Disney Co fell 2% after delaying the reopening of theme parks due to the health crisis. A report also said the company was considering postponing the July 24 release of “Mulan.”

Boeing Co fell 2.4% when rival Airbus hit a crucial aircraft production target and smoothed out recent industrial problems.

Berenberg also downgraded its rating on the US aircraft maker to “sell,” noting high short-term risks related to the pandemic, the pace of recovery in air travel and uncertainty related to production rates.

The decrease in emissions outpaced that of overtakers for a ratio of 1.19 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Advanced problems outnumbered declinators by a ratio of 1.11 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 40 new highs and seven new lows. (Report by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bangalore; Arun Koyyur and Sriraj Kalluvila edition)

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