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Stocks soar despite dismal unemployment numbers

The famous bull outside the New York Stock Exchange (Credit: Größe dieser Vorschau)

Stocks soared Thursday as the government came closer to approving a $2 trillion stimulus package to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Although the Dow has been up more than 20% over the past three days, it’s still down 21% for the year.

  • Worth Noting: A record 3.28 million workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus hit the U.S. economy. That number blew past the Great Recession peak of 665,000 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982.
  • What comes next: Many economists have been revising their U.S. GDP projections, with some predicting that the economy could in the second quarter shrink far worse than it did during the Great Recession. Others have cautioned that the U.S. stocks rally could likely be temporary –– especially as more economic data emerges and we remain weeks away from having the coronavirus under control, WSJ noted.
  • Unemployment number is undoubtedly worse: Many state labor departments have been inundated with people filing for claims, so not everybody who has tried to file has been able to get through. Moreover, many workers take time before filing for benefits, and some don’t even know whether they qualify. The actual scope of the job losses won’t be known for some time.

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