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What to Watch Thursday: Gilead, Microsoft and the Markets

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This morning, futures are once again sinking due to the coronavirus.

Let’s go over the top stories Thursday, which include a look at the markets, Microsoft and Gilead.

First Up: the Markets

Yesterday saw the markets swing like a pendulum in later trading during the day. The Dow closed down a little over 100 points. The Nasdaq closed down 0.6% and the S&P 500 closed down 0.8%.

With the futures pointing to an open in the red, this puts us on pace for the worst week since the global financial crisis of 2008.

Let’s take a look at oil and gold.

Oil is in a freefall due to the unknowns around the coronavirus. As Edward Moya of OANDA put it, “Oil prices will remain very vulnerable here as the pandemic fears could deliver a greater shock to demand than what happened during the financial crisis. In 2008, WTI crude fell from the record high of $147.27 all the way down to the mid-$30s.”

Gold on the other hand, may see a moment in the sun as investors turn to safe haven assets.

Goldman Sachs boosted its forecast for gold to $1800 from $1600. “In the event that the virus effect spreads to Q2, we could see gold top $1,800/oz already on a 3-month basis,” it noted.

Gold is trading near a seven-year high due to fears around the coronavirus.

And Then There’s Microsoft

The company issued a coronavirus sales warning late Wednesday.

Microsoft said that it will fall short of previously issued fiscal third-quarter sales guidance. The company had been expecting sales guidance of between $10.75 billion and $11.15 billion for its “more personal computing” business segment. The segment includes Windows OEM and Surface.

Over the past year, Microsoft is up over 51%.

And, Finally, Gilead

The company, which is developing a drug to combat the coronavirus, said that it’s launching a Phase 3 study

Gilead Sciences said remdesivir will be tested on around 1,000 patients with both moderate and severe symptoms of the respiratory-focused coronavirus.

The World Health Organization has said that Gilead’s drug may be the “only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy” in treating the disease.

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