Nasdaq Closes at Record High as WHO Stops at Declaring Coronavirus Outbreak Global Health Emergency

The Nasdaq closes at a record high Thursday as the World Health Organization says it won't declare a global public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
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  1. The Nasdaq closed at a record high after the World Health Organization said it wouldn't declare a global public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
  2. China expanded travel restrictions beyond the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, which has killed 17 people and infected nearly 650.
  3. Comcast is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The company posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and boosted its dividend

The Nasdaq closed at a record high Thursday, regaining some lost ground, as investors took comfort from the World Health Organization's decision not to declare a global public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.

Authorities in China expanded travel restrictions to beyond Wuhan, a central industrial city with a population of around 11 million, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, which has killed 17 people and infected nearly 650.

The ban was in effect for at least seven cities. Beijing and Hong Kong canceled activities that were planned around the Lunar New Year, and Singapore on Thursday reported its first case of the virus.

The World Health Organization said Thursday it wouldn't declare a global public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.

"Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global emergency," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, in a statement on Twitter.

The U.S. State Department issued an advisory on travel in China, saying, "Exercise increased caution in China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a "Watch Level 3 Alert (Avoid Nonessential Travel)" for the ongoing outbreak of pneumonia caused by coronavirus.

The Nasdaq closed up 18.71, or 0.2% to 9,402.48, while the S&P ended up 0.11% to 3,325.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been down more than 200 points, finished down 26 points, or 0.09%, to 29,160.09.

Citrix Systems  (CTXS) - Get Report was the top gainer on both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq as analysts boosted their price targets on the software company's stock following a surge in fourth-quarter subscription revenue.

Travelers  (TRV) - Get Report, the Dow's poorest performer, declined after the insurance company reported net premiums written in the fourth quarter of $7.08 billion that were slightly below analysts' estimates.

Procter & Gamble  (PG) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected earnings in its fiscal second quarter but sales that missed Wall Street expectations.

For fiscal 2020, P&G said it expects core earnings growth of between 8% and 11%, up from its prior forecast of 5% to 10%, and a 4% to 5% gain for organic sales growth.

American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report reported fourth-quarter earnings modestly weaker than expected and said it will keep all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft out of its fleet until at least June.

Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Report reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings that beat analysts' forecasts even as it took a charge related to the ongoing grounding of its fleet of Boeing-made 737 MAX aircraft. The airline warned that future costs are rising because of the jet's grounding.

Comcast  (CMCSA) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and boosted its dividend as broadband customer additions offset rising customer departures from its cable business.

Comcast is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

Intel  (INTC) - Get Report is expected to report earnings after the closing bell Thursday.