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The Dow Jones is flat today after the U.S. Department of Labor announced 4.4 million more unemployed this week.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt oil prices and create new geopolitical tensions in the United States. We cover everything hitting the Dow Jones today, below.
Before we dive into the latest stories and more, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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 Department of Labor announced that 4.4 million additional Americans filed for unemployment last week. This brings the total number of Americans seeking unemployment since mid-March to roughly 26 million. However, we might still be in the early innings of this crisis. As city, local, and state governments face significant declines in tax revenue, we may see a wave of layoffs in government employees.
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- Crude oil prices ticked higher on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a warning to the Iranian navy. Trump said he had "instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea." The warnings come after a series of close encounters between U.S. war boats and smaller, armed Iranian ships.
- The coronavirus is once again creating a wealth of problems around the globe. Total cases around the world topped 2.6 million, while the United States has about one-third of these official cases. About 46,750 people have died in the United States due to COVID. The U.S. economy faces new pressure after Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) announced plans to shutter two pork processing plants, including the largest facility in the United States. The closure puts even more pressure on meat supplies across the country.
Stock to Watch Today: LLY, BX, TGT
- Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) popped 1.1% this morning after the pharmaceutical company topped Wall Street expectations before the bell. The drug maker saw a $250 million boost in revenue due to COVID-19. However, it said that the virus could drag down profitability in the months ahead.
- Blackstone Group Inc. (NYSE: BX) reported earnings before the bell Thursday. The private equity firm reported earnings per share of $0.46, a figure that fell below expectations. The firm also said that it had a loss due to a write-down of its investment portfolio. That said, the firm did experience a double-digit gain in fees.
- Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) had a big April for its e-commerce channels. According to reports, same-store sales increased by 5% while digital sales were up nearly 400%. The CEO said that daily sales online have rivaled Cyber Monday, almost every single day. The company did say that it faces challenges in the months ahead due to COVID-19. Customers are making more low-margin purchases in food and household products. In addition, the company has experienced an uptick in labor costs.
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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.