Dow Jones Ticks Higher Despite Growing Unemployment Numbers

The Dow Jones added 300 points out the gate this morning as governors draw closer to carrying out plans to reopen their economies. The uptick comes despite growing unemployment numbers, which we cover below.

Plus: the latest coronavirus numbers and a surge in stationary bike sales moving the Dow today. Read on for details.

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
Dow Jones 23,664.64 -314.24 -1.30
S&P 500 2,848.42 -34.72 -1.21
Nasdaq 8,854.39 -20.37 -0.22

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, all eyes are back on the U.S. jobs market. After yesterday's steep drop in private payrolls, the U.S. Labor Department reported that another 3.17 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That figure surpassed consensus expectations of 3.05 million. Tomorrow, the U.S. Labor Department will release the official jobs report for April. Economists anticipate that the number of Americans who are employed will decline by at least 21.5 million. That would mean the unemployment rate surpasses 16%.

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  • Johns Hopkins University said this morning that global coronavirus cases surpassed 3.7 million on Thursday. The news comes after drug maker Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) received a "crucial" FDA approval to move its vaccine to phase 2 trials. Shares of MRNA surged on the news. Meanwhile, retailers are taking aggressive steps to reopen locations. Firms like Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), and Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS) have announced plans to start reopening across various states. The big question is whether shoppers are ready to venture out into the public. This could be a very important week for real estate investment trusts that operate shopping malls and outlet centers. Strong consumer traffic would quickly attract institutional investors who are searching for yield and value in today's environment.
  • Global oil prices bounced higher today after China reported a surprise uptick in exports for the month of April. China said that exports increased by 3.5% for the month, well above the expected decline of 15.7%. WTI crude added 9.5% this morning, while Brent crude jumped above $31 after a 6.5% gain. That said, oil markets are out of extreme contango levels right now and refinery demand is ticking a bit higher as optimism abounds about the reopening of the economy. However, analysts are still cognizant that U.S. crude inventories have increased for 15 straight weeks at a time that the long-term demand picture for crude looks increasingly weak.

Stock to Watch Today: PTON, VIAC, COST

  • Shares of Peloton Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ: PTON) surged more than 10% after the exercise company reported a massive jump in home-bike sales. The company said that sales increased by 66% from a year ago and logged its largest live class ever with more than 23,000 participants streaming from home. Despite the surge, the company still lost $0.20 per share on top of $524.6 million in revenue. Analysts expected a loss of $0.17 on top of $487.7 million in revenue.
  • Shares of CBS Corp. (NASDAQ: VIAC) surged nearly 20% after the company crushed earnings expectations this morning. Despite a sharp downturn in advertising revenue due to canceled events like March Madness, the company easily topped Wall Street forecasts. The firm reported earnings per share of $1.13, a figure that beat the Street by $0.17. Meanwhile, the firm reported a 51% jump in U.S.-based streaming and digital video revenue.
  • Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) held at $309 per share despite news that the firm experienced its first decline in same-store sales in more than a decade. The firm said that same-store sales fell by 4.7% in April. The firm said that it is still experiencing challenges due to store closures and social distancing guidelines.

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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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