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Dow Ends Down as Apple to Re-Close Some U.S. Stores on Coronavirus Spike

Apple will temporarily close some of its U.S. retail stores again after a spike in coronavirus cases in certain states.

Stocks finished mixed Friday in a volatile trading session after Apple  (AAPL) - Get Free Report said it was temporarily closing some of its U.S. retail stores again after coronavirus cases spiked in certain parts of the country.

The tech giant said 11 stores will be closed across Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina, Bloomberg reported. Florida and Arizona reported the highest spikes in new coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March.

“Due to current Covid-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” an Apple spokesman said in a statement. “We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.” 

Apple finished down slightly to $349.72.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished off 209 points, or 0.8%, to 25,871, the S&P 500 fell 0.56%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.03%.

For the week the Dow gained 1%, the S&P 500 gained 1.9% and the Nasdaq composite rose 3.7%.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, warned the coronavirus pandemic has entered a "new and dangerous phase" with cases hitting a record high.

The number of new cases reported Thursday “were the most in a single day so far” at 150,000, he said during a press conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters. 

Almost half of the total cases were reported from the Americas, and the United States has the worst outbreak in the world. Arizona, Texas and Florida reported record-high single-day increases in Covid-19 cases.

Equities had been higher for most of the day after a report said China would speed up purchases of soybeans, corn and ethanol from the United States as part of the phase one trade agreement between the world's two largest economies.

Oil prices also were higher but pared earlier gains as demand was seen recovering. West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.96% to $39.60 a barrel.

China will step up buying of the American farm goods after purchases fell behind due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Thursday following meetings in Hawaii this week that Beijing would honor its commitments under the trade accord.

“During my meeting with CCP Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, he recommitted to completing and honoring all of the obligations of Phase 1 of the trade deal between our two countries,” Pompeo said in a tweet.

Many companies Friday were commemorating Juneteenth (June 19), the day that marks the announcement in Texas in 1865 of the emancipation proclamation freeing slaves in the United States.

Nike  (NKE) - Get Free Report, Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Free Report, Target  (TGT) - Get Free Report and a number of other companies said they would observe June 19 as a paid company holiday.