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US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Close Higher Despite Record Rise in Jobless Claims

Jobless claims rise by 6.2 million
David Becker

US stocks whipsawed initially moving lower in the wake of the larger than expected jobless claims report. Share moved higher mid-day, following a report on CNBC that President Trump had spoken to Saudi Arabia and Russia, and they confirmed that there would be a 10-million barrel a day cut in crude oil output. All three major average closed near session highs, rallying into the close. Later in the day there was news that US producers were talking directly with Saudi Arabia on a global oil production cut. Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren was on the tape today saying that congress will need to do more to get the US economy back on track. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, with Energy shares leading the markets higher, while Real-estate bucked the trend.

Jobless Claims Hit Record

Unemployment claims soared to 6.6 million last week, the most in history, and more double the2.8-million reported in the prior week. This is a terrifying number and the Labor Department does not likely have the requisite number of employees to process these claims. In looking at absolute unemployment unadjusted for state population, California came out highest with more than 878,000 workers filing for benefits, up 692,000 from the prior week’s print of 186,000 claims. That’s a more than 350% increase. Pennsylvania workers filing for state unemployment rose from 377,000 in the week ended March 21 to 405,000 in the week ended March 28, a surge of 28,000. Michigan saw initial claims rise to 311,000 from 128,000 the week prior.

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Fed Rosengren Says Fed Acted Quickly

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren said the central bank moved rapidly to address deterioration across multiple parts of the financial market. However, he said more will need to be done, particularly in Congress, which recently passed the $2 trillion rescue Act.

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