Dow falls 270 points as jobless-claims figures show extent of coronavirus damage
US stocksfell Thursday as investors reacted to another dismal jobless-claims report.
- 3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the eight-week total to more than 36 million.
- Geopolitical tensions escalated after President Trump told Fox Business that the US could "cut off" the nation's relationship with China.
- Read more on Business Insider.
3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, more than the consensus forecast from economists. The eight-week jobless-claims total is now than 36 million. Still, it marked the sixth straight week of declines for the measure.
"Although the initial deluge of unemployment claims is slowing, the labor market likely has further to fall as states chip away at backlogged claims, and employers navigate reopening amid a continued health crisis," Daniel Zhao, an economist at Glassdoor, told Business Insider. "We're not out of the woods yet."
Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 2,789.58, down 1.1%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 22,978.09, down 1.2% (270 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 8,790.86, down 0.8%
Read more: We surveyed 10 money managers about how they're handling the pandemic. They each shared their favorite hidden gems in the market, surprising trades they're making, and the big bets they can't live without.
The losses are a continuation from stock-market weakness on Wednesday. Major equity indexes dipped after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy could be permanently damaged unless further government intervention takes place.
House Democrats have proposed an additional $3 trillion coronavirus relief package which would extend further relief, though it faces opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. A vote likely won't come before Friday.
There are also signs of rising trade tensions between the US and China. President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday that he could "cut off" the nation's relationship with China. He also said that he does not want to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping right now.
Oil rose following a monthly report from the International Energy Agency saying there are signs of recovery in the market. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 5.8%, to $26.75 a barrel. International benchmark Brent crude rose 4.7%, to $30.55, at intraday highs.
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