Dow Jones Pops on Fed's Extraordinary Attempt to Prop Up the Economy

The Dow Jones popped this morning after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced $2.3 trillion of loans to support small businesses and consumers. But investors fear this uptick might not have legs...

Unemployment claims in the coronavirus lockdown have ballooned to 6.6 million. The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell to 0.72% this morning. Gold, meanwhile, popped above $1,700 today. Read further for more on how the coronavirus crisis is affecting the Dow today.

First, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 23,433.57 +779.71 +3.44%
S&P 500 2,749.98 +90.57 +3.41%
Nasdaq 8,090.90 +203.64 +2.58%

Now, here's a closer look at what I'm following today. These are the most important market events and stocks.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday

  • This morning, the U.S. Labor Department announced that an additional 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits this week. That figure surpasses expectations of 5 million. That extraordinary figure offers a staggering glimpse into the negative impact that coronavirus has played on the U.S. economy. A lot of analysts and economists are now worried that this surge in unemployment could be permanent across a number of industries. This figure brings the total number of people on unemployment on the other side of 15 million, based on the past two weeks' figures.

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  • Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases around the world surpassed 1.5 million. We have seen 89,000 deaths and more than 300,000 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University. Reports this morning indicate that the bulk of New York cases came from Europe due to a spread from travelers to the United States (though the virus still originated in China, they say). Scientists have been testing genomes to get a sense of how the virus has spread. Italy currently has the largest number of deaths at more than 17,600. Spain said yesterday that roughly 15,000 people have died. The United States is fast approaching that figure as well.
  • Finally, oil prices are in focus as OPEC leaders prepare to meet with Russia to discuss potential caps on production to help boost crude prices. Some analysts are warning that a failure to reach a deal could lead to a very sharp downturn in crude prices, perhaps into the single digits. Check back for more information about the OPEC meeting and what a deal could mean for oil prices down the road.

Stocks to Watch Today: SBUX, DIS, ZM

  • Shares of Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) are off 2.8% after the company announced that it would likely see a 47% decline in revenue over the second quarter. The firm said that it will not release a full-year outlook. It has also eliminated its share buyback program, although it does plan to still pay its dividend to investors.
  • Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) were moving higher this morning after the company reported a huge surge in Disney Plus subscriptions. Disney has evolved into a "stay at home" stock by pushing to 50 million subscriptions around the world. The company said that 8 million people have signed up for the service in India.
  • Shares of Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) are off again this morning after the company faced new concerns about security protocols. The U.S. Senate has warned its own staffs to avoid the conferencing app due to security problems. This comes a day after Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) banned its workforce from using Zoom on their laptops. Shares of ZM are off more than 1.5% this morning.

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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