Dow Jones Drops 100 Points as Investors Prep for Worst Jobs Report in a Decade

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 100 points out the gate this morning, investors preparing for higher unemployment levels in the United States.

Yesterday, the Labor Department said that more than 6.3 million people applied for unemployment benefits. Today, the official jobs report was off in terms of reality. The official rate jumped from 3.5% to 4.4%. However, private reports suggest that the real rate is somewhere north of 10%. More news on the coronavirus crisis below.

Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 21,413.44 +469.93 +2.24
S&P 500 2,526.90 +56.40 +2.28
Nasdaq 7,487.31 +126.73 +1.72

Now let's take a look at what I consider to be the most important market events to start your day.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday

  • Johns Hopkins University reports that the number of global coronavirus cases topped 1 million on Thursday. The death toll around the globe now has topped 53,000 with the bulk of reported cases happening in the United States. Nearly 250,000 confirmed cases have occurred in the United States. Last night, Miami's mayor asked the president to stop all air traffic into the top COVID-19 hot spots inside and outside the United States.

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  • U.S. President Trump has asserted his authority to force companies to help produce ventilator materials for suppliers of the machines. U.S. experts have said that the medical system will require tens of thousands of ventilators from General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), Medtronic Plc. (NYSE: MDT), ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD), Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG), Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRC), and Vyaire Medical.
  • Today ends 113 consecutive months of payroll growth for the United States. The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the unemployment rate hit 4.4% in March... and this is only the beginning. Economists worry that it is going to take years - potentially into 2023 - now for companies bounce back from this crisis and get the rate back down to 4.5%. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have recently projected that the unemployment will peak above 30% at some point in 2020.

Stocks to Watch Today: JPM, TSLA, AAPL

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is in focus as the banking sector plans to launch Friday's small business rescue program. JPM is not prepared to launch its efforts despite the White House's plans to move forward, according to reports.
  • Shares of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) rallied more than 17% after the company topped delivery estimates on Thursday. The firm reported that it had delivered 88,400 vehicles during the first quarter. However, the company did state it was uncertain about the impact of coronavirus on sales in the year ahead.
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced it will keep its stores closed in the United States through at least May. The company will also ensure that its workers operate from home offices for the foreseeable future.

The Complete Guide: The coronavirus has erased trillions of dollars from global markets, yet this can be one of the most important wealth-building moments in your life - if handled correctly. Here's what to do...

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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