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US Stock Market Overview – US Stocks Surge, Drive by Financials and Utiliites

Jobless claims surge to highest on record
David Becker

US stocks surged for a third consecutive trading session, driven by strong gains in the Dow Industrials. The Dow rallied more than 6% along with the S&P 500 index, with the Nasdaq up 5.5%. All sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher driven by utilities and banks, cyclicals were the worst-performing sector in a strong tape. The S&P 500 has surged more than 20% off its lows, generating a new bull market, making the bear market the shortest in history. The Dollar index tumbled on Thursday dropping more than 1.5%, as investors piled into US assets, and the Fed continued to provide support for dollar swaps. The Fed Chair was on mainstream TV on Thursday telling investors that the Fed was there to support the US economy. US jobless claims surge to the highest level on record, climbing to 3.28 million jobs, easily outpacing the 1.5-million expected.

Jobless Claims Surge More than Expected

Jobless claims surged as the Labor Department reported that initial claims rose to 3.28 million. The number shatters the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982. Consensus estimates showed an expectation for 1.5 million new claims.

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Q4 GDP Remains Unchanged

The final look at Q4 GDP shows that the economy grew by a moderate 2.1%. The Commerce Department reported that the third and final look at the fourth quarter showed that growth was unchanged from its previous estimate but that the components were slightly altered with consumer spending.

The Fed Chair was on Mainstream TV

Fed Chair Jerome Power was on mainstream TV on Thursday attempting to encourage inventors. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is trying to reassure Americans about this unprecedented financial crisis. Powell said that the Fed is working hard to support Americans on the morning show called the “Today show”.

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