Dow falls 270 points as jobless-claims figures show extent of coronavirus damage

Dow falls 270 points as jobless-claims figures show extent of coronavirus damage
Getty Images / Johannes Eisele

US stocks fell Thursday after the weekly jobless-claims report showed that unemployment remains elevated even as some states begin to reopen from coronavirus-induced shutdowns.

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:

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.

Read more: Todd Ahlsten has dominated the market and his competitors for 2 decades. He lays out the 6 stock-picking decisions that reshaped his portfolio after the coronavirus meltdown.

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.


Read more: A fund manager who's doubled his competitors' returns for 15 years breaks down 2 stock picks for a market recovery — including the US airline that will benefit most from the crisis

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