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The Dow Jones is climbing despite news that China has approved a controversial national security law that will impact Hong Kong.
The number of unemployed continues to grow since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, approaching 40 million. Here's everything moving the Dow today.
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
- We're expecting that another 2.05 million people will have filed jobless claims this week. The new figure would bring the official number of unemployed Americans close to 40 million since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Continuing claims were sitting around 25 million before Thursday's report.
- Meanwhile, China is moving forward with a national security bill that will effectively end autonomy in Hong Kong. The bill effectively bypasses Hong Kong's legislature and will end the "one party, two systems" approach. The National People's Congress approved the bill by a 2,878 to 1 vote, and the bill will now move to the Standing Committee to work out the final details. The United States will likely move forward with sanctions against the Chinese government over the new security law.
- Johns Hopkins University reports that the number of American deaths due to COVID-19 has surpassed 100,000. With the U.S. economy reopening, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that the coronavirus will continue to circulate until a biotech company successfully develops a vaccine. The European Union has announced plan to introduce new stimulus in the coming weeks. In addition, we are waiting for the U.S. Senate to consider a new bill that would likely add a few trillion in new stimulus to the American economy.
Stock to Watch Today: TWTR, AAL, FB, HTZ
- Shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) were off 3% this morning on news that the Trump administration plans to sign an executive order that targets political bias on social media platforms. The new order would see the FCC alter regulations that effectively exempt social media firms from legal liability over users' posts. The order comes a few days after Twitter fact-checked a series of tweets by Trump. Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) also slipped on the news.
- Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) are in focus after the company announced plans to slash about 30% of its management and support staff. The company made the announcement in a letter to employees and requested volunteers to start the process. After the voluntary layoffs, the company will move forward with involuntary cuts to its staff.
- Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) were off 15% this morning on news that hedge fund manager Carl Icahn sold his entire stake in the company for a $1.8 billion loss. Icahn had previously owned about 39% of the rental car company and exited the position at $0.79 per share a few days after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection. The COVID-19 shutdown had dramatically reduced demand for rental cars. However, the firm was facing significant pressure in the era of ridesharing.
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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.