- US stocks slipped Thursday after jobless claims data showed another 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
- Shares of Tesla and Facebook surged after reporting earnings.
- Today, blue-chip companies including Amazon, Apple, Gilead Sciences, Visa, and United will report earnings after market close.
- Oil prices gained on early signals of a global demand recovery.
- Read more on Business Insider.
US stocks fell Thursday after jobless claims data showed another 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. In just six weeks, more than 30 million Americans have filed a claim for UI benefits.
“We may be past the peak of initial claims, but we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, told Business Insider.
Here’s where major US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. market open Thursday:
- S&P 500: 2,905.99, down 1.1%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 24,290.56, down 1.4% (343 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 8,861.39, down 0.6%
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The US government also reported Thursday that consumer spending slumped in March as businesses closed, laying off workers. Consumption is roughly 70% of US gross domestic product, making it an important drive of the economy.
On Wednesday, the GDP report showed the US economy contracted at a 4.8% annualized rate in the first quarter. Economists expect that there is worse to come, forecasting that GDP could fall as much as 40% in the second quarter.
The negative news dialed back some optimism from earlier in the week. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday said that the central bank is ready to continue to provide stimulus support amid the coronavirus pandemic. The central bank also left interest rates unchanged.
In addition, Gilead Sciences on Wednesday announced that it had seen positive results from its antiviral drug, remdesivir, in a critical Covid-19 study. Later in the day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious disease, said the early results offered good news.
“Any positive news towards finding a treatment or a vaccine to Covid-19 is driving risk-on behaviour,” Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, told Business Insider. “The other factor feeding appetite to riskier assets is the gradual lifting of lockdowns that we’ve seen in several US states and European countries.”
Investors also still have a close eye on first-quarter earnings season. Shares of Facebook surged 7% early Thursday following solid ad revenue. Tesla shares rose 8% after the company managed to turn a profit for the third quarter in a row.
Shares of Twitter fell 7% on its quarterly earnings that showed a drop in advertising revenue. Today, blue-chip companies including Amazon, Gilead Sciences, Visa, and United will report earnings after market close.
Oil prices gained Thursday on early signals of a global demand recovery. WTI crude climbed as much as 18%, to $17.80 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude rose 13% at intraday highs, to $25.43 per barrel.
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