Dow Jones Today Slides as COVID-19 Spread Accelerates in Western States

The Dow Jones today is falling after the latest round of jobless claims and a swell of new COVID-19 cases around the nation.

Airline stocks and retail stocks fueled Thursday's downturn. Markets are also reacting to a recent breakout of coronavirus in Beijing, the capital of China. The Chinese government said that it has contained the spread over the last few days. More stories moving the Dow, below.

But 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 26,119.61 -170.37 -0.65
S&P 500 3,113.49 -11.25 -0.36
Nasdaq 9,910.53 +14.66 +0.15

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 will report the latest update on jobless claims across the United States. Economists expect the agency will say that 1.3 million Americans filed for unemployment for the first time last week. While this figure would be significant, it also signals a continued decline since the peak during the first quarter.
  • On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the U.S. central bank will move away from debt-based exchange-traded funds and focus on individual company bonds. Powell made the statement before the House Financial Services Committee during his semiannual testimony. The Fed's decision to buy corporate debt set off a massive rally in the markets starting in March and pushed the central bank into uncharted territory. It's taking a dive into the nearly $10 trillion corporate debt market. The Fed has faced increased criticism due to its willingness to purchase speculative-grade debt - also known as junk bonds.
  • Johns Hopkins University reports that the number of coronavirus cases topped 2.14 million in the United States on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, the number of deaths across the country surpassed 117,000 Americans. While New York City is moving forward with its next phase to reopen the economy, states like Arizona and Texas have experienced a huge surge in COVID-19 cases. With that news leading the headlines, perhaps the most positive news is that Major League Baseball could soon reach a deal with its players union to launch a short season with expanded playoffs.

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Stocks to Watch Today: HTZ, SPOT, LYFT, KR

  • Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) are sliding again after the company announced plans to stop a $500 million stock offering. The car rental giant - which recently filed for Chapter 11 - had hoped to raise the capital after shares rallied after the reopening of the U.S. economy. However, shares have cratered over the last week due to valuation concerns. The SEC plans to review the company's request to raise capital after it said that the shares it might sell could ultimately become worthless. The company also recently asked the New York Stock Exchange not to delist its stock.
  • Shares of Spotify Technology SA (NASDAQ: SPOT) are on the move after the streaming giant announced that Kim Kardashian West will host a podcast for the company. The new podcast will center on her work with an Innocence Project that works to exonerate individuals who were wrongfully convicted. The deal comes a month after Spotify announced it had signed a $100 million licensing deal with Joe Rogan's podcast - the Joe Rogan Experience. Shares of Spotify are sitting at an all-time high.
  • Lyft Inc. (NYSE: LYFT) announced it will operate entirely on electric vehicles by 2030, according to a blog post released yesterday. The company said it is committed to a "cleaner and more sustainable" future that involves zero emissions within the decade.
  • Look for earnings reports from Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), J.Jill Inc. (NASDAQ: JILL), Hi-Crush Inc. (NYSE: HCR), Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC), and Designer Brands Inc. (NYSE: DBI).

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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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