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The Dow Jones will have another volatile day as the effect of the pandemic has taken a much bigger toll than expected.
Last week, more than 6.6 million new workers filed for unemployment benefits. That brought the total number of claims to more than 16 million Americans over three weeks. This figure implies that more than 10% of the American workforce is unemployed, with plenty of downside left.
But before we dive into the latest stories and more, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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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
- The U.S. Congress is working on yet another round of stimulus for the American economy. The coronavirus outbreak is having an extremely negative impact on the economy. In fact, economic data proves to be much worse than anticipated. The IMF now reports that Asian economic growth will fall to its lowest levels in 60 years – at zero percent. Meanwhile, March retail sales in the United States fell by their sharpest level on record at 8.7%. Also, New York's manufacturing plunged by the largest levels ever, even surpassing those witnessed during the 2008 financial crisis.
Warning: Trillions of dollars of Fed "stimulus" can't stop COVID-19 from devastating markets and economies – but it can sure make things worse. Find out what's next in this just-released report…
- The number of global infections now sits north of 2.1 million people, with at least 135,000 deaths tied to coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, U.S. President Donald Trump claims that the United States has passed the peak of the disease outbreak.
- Oil prices have fallen to their lowest level in more than 18 years as global demand slumps and supply continues to build at a breakneck pace. West Texas Infrastructure prices fell thanks to the largest U.S. crude inventory levels on record. The International Energy Agency said Wednesday that nearly a decade of global demand evaporated due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.
Stock to Watch Today: ABT, NFLX, UAL
- Earnings season continues this morning. Before the bell, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) shares gained 1% after the company topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm reported EPS of $0.65, a figure that beat forecasts by $0.07. Revenue also topped expectations. However, the firm did withdraw its forward guidance due to concerns about the coronavirus.
- Shares of Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) continue to rally on news that Americans' streaming habits have reached an average of eight hours per day during the coronavirus outbreak. The stock is now pressing into record territory and worth more than the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS). The company has benefited in recent weeks from strong demand for shows like "Tiger King." The stock recently received multiple upgrades from Wall Street analysts.
- United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) is the latest airline to make steep cuts into its summer travel schedule. The airline has slashed its May schedule by 90% and expects June cuts to rival that level due to coronavirus. The firm warned of job cuts and said flight demand is "essentially at zero, shows no sign of improving in the near term." During the first two weeks of April, the company had 200,000 travelers. That figure is down 97% from the 6 million who flew in April 2019.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.