Categories: Finance

Dow up 800, jobless claims top 3 million, stimulus bill to House

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

10:55 am: Markets may weaken with future economic data, strategist says

Matt Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management, said equity markets could struggle in future weeks as the economic data continues to worsen. “The economic data is likely to get worse before it gets better. The initial jobless claims this morning — 3 million was never seen, historic in nature. The thing is, given the number of claims, some may not even have gotten logged in time for this,” Miskin said.

Once investors begin to look to 2021, stocks could rise rapidly, Miskin said. “If it goes down in an elevator, it certainly can come back in an elevator, too,” he said. — Pound

10:22 am: Stocks head for third straight day of gains

The S&P 500 rose nearly 3% in trading in Thursday as it headed for its third consecutive day of gains. U.S. stocks have been exceptionally volatile during the coronavirus crisis, with recent swings hitting records not seen since the 1930s. – Sheetz

9:53 am: Tudor Jones says this is the biggest fiscal monetary ‘bazooka’ ever and more like a ‘nuclear bomb’

Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones said Thursday investors should commend Washington’s policy response to the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic. “Investors can take heart that we’ve counteracted this existential shock with the greatest fiscal, monetary bazooka. It’s not even a bazooka. It’s more like a nuclear bomb,” Jones said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Jones said the actions from the Federal Reserve and Congress have brought “safety” to the economic system, even as COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S. and disrupt daily life. “We did in two weeks what it took the Fed eight months to do in 2009,” Jones said. “Remember, we didn’t even get quantitative easing until well after the great financial crisis had started, well into the recession.” — Stankiewicz

9:32 am: Stocks open in the green despite historic jobless claims, Dow up 400 points

Stocks opened in positive territory on Thursday despite a stunning jobless claims number, showing more than 3 million Americans are out of a job thanks to the coronavirus shutdown. This is the third day that stocks have rallied. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 460 points at the open. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively. – Fitzgerald

9:27 am: Mnuchin says coronavirus stimulus checks will come within three weeks

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that people will start getting relief checks within three weeks, as the country reels from the coronavirus pandemic. Mnuchin spoke to CNBC the morning after the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to blunt economic damage from the spread of the coronavirus. The House is expected to vote on the legislation Friday. — Kevin Breuninger

9:13 am: Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones sees market up as soon as June

Longtime hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC on Thursday that even though the market could be set for a rocky April as U.S. COVID-19 cases peak, stocks could be above current levels as soon as June. The billionaire investor said “we’ll be challenged in April,” as the market digests a peak level of coronavirus cases. “I think that could bring us to a retest, it might even bring us to a fractional new low. But I do think the stock market’s going to find a bottom,” he continued. “My guess is we’ll be higher three or four months from now, five months from now, than lower than where we are right now.” — Franck

9:08 am: Stock futures go positive

Following the historic jobless claims, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures flipped into positive territory. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also pointed to modest gains at the open. — Fitzgerald 

8:55 am: Treasury yields hold steady despite record jobless claims

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at about 0.79% while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also down at 1.35%. However, the rates only fluctuated around these levels after the record-breaking number of jobless claims. The Labor Department said Thursday a total of 3.28 million Americans displaced by the coronavirus crisis filed unemployment claims. While the massive number underscored the outbreak’s devastating toll on the economy, it came smaller than some of the estimates on Wall Street. Citigroup said it sees a figure closer to 4 million, for example. —Li

8:48 am: Stock futures cut losses despite historic jobless claims

Stock futures cut earlier losses on Thursday even after the release of initial jobless claims data gave investors a look at the employment impact the coronavirus is having on the country.  Dow futures indicated a drop of more than 100 points at Thursday’s open. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures pointed to opening losses of about 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. Dow futures were down more than 400 points earlier in the session. —Imbert, Fitzgerald 

8:37 am: Jobless claims soar above 3 million

Americans displaced by the coronavirus crisis filed unemployment claims in record numbers, with the Labor Department reporting Thursday a surge 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 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones showed an expectation for 1.5 million new claims, though individual forecasts on Wall Street had been anticipating a much higher number. The surge comes amid a crippling slowdown brought on by the coronavirus crisis.Jobless claims are considered the quickest window into current economic conditions. Most data reports in recent weeks reflect periods before the worst of the coronavirus hit and have been showing the U.S. in relatively good shape heading into the crisis. – Cox

8:01 am: Powell’s message to Americans

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Americans on Thursday the central bank is working hard to support them during these unprecedented financial conditions. “The Federal Reserve is working hard to support you now, and our policies will be very important when the recovery does come, to make that recovery as strong as possible,” Powell said on NBC’s “Today.” “Really the message is this: This is a unique situation, its not like a typical downturn. We’ve asked people to step back from economic activity really to make an investment in our public health. They’re doing that for the public good and this bill that’s just passed is going to try to provide relief and stability to those people,” Powell added. 

For the health piece of the crisis, the Fed chair said he defers to the specialists. “We would tend to listen to the experts,” said Powell. “Dr. Fauci said something like, the virus is going to set the time table and that sounds right to me.” — Fitzgerald 

7:54 am: Coronavirus cases near 500,000

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus could surpass 500,000 today. There are currently more than 480,000 confirmed cases worldwide and at least 21,571 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, there are at least 69,197 cases and more than 1,000 deaths.Spain’s health ministry announced on Thursday that it saw more than 8,000 new cases in 24 hours. The country now has over 4,000 deaths due to the virus, putting it ahead of China’s official data. —Pound

7:42 am: Senate passes $2 trillion stimulus bill

The Senate passed a $2 trillion bill aimed at stimulating the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak. The legislation, which now heads to the House, includes direct payments to individuals, stronger unemployment insurance, loans and grants to businesses and more health-care resources for hospitals, states and municipalities. It includes requirements that insurance providers cover preventive services for COVID-19. The bill passed with a unanimous 96-0 vote. —Imbert, Pramuk

7:32 am: Powell says Fed won’t ‘run out of ammunition’

In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will have enough tools to mitigate the economic blow from the coronavirus. “When it comes to this lending, we’re not going to run out of ammunition, that doesn’t happen,” Powell said. “The Federal Reserve is working hard to support you now, and our policies will be very important when the recovery does come, to make that recovery as strong as possible.” —Imbert

7:28 am: Jobless claims could be record-breaking

Economists are forecasting between 1 million and 4 million claims were filed last week as businesses around the country are forced to at least partially shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. A number along that range would be unprecedented, particularly in such a short period of time. However, the numbers could be far worse. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday afternoon the state alone has seen 1 million unemployment claims since March 13. —Imbert

7:05 am: Stock futures lower, awaiting jobless claims

Stock futures pointed to losses at the open as investors braced for what could be a record-breaking number of Americans filing for unemployment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated an opening drop of more than 100 points at Thursday’s open. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures pointed to opening losses of about 1%.

The jobless claims data will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The official consensus estimate from Dow Jones is calling for 1.5 million claims but Citigroup believes it may be as high as 4 million. Either way, it is likely to be a record.

On Wednesday, the Dow climbed nearly 500 points on hopes of a coronavirus stimulus bill from congress, which was passed by the Senate late on Wednesday and will now head to the House of Representatives. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, dipping 0.5%, as the so-call FAANG stocks closed in the red. – Fitzgerald 

— with reporting from CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Yun Li.  

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