Markets Continue Higher Today Despite Record Jobless Number

Equity markets charged higher for a third straight day on Thursday as investors seemed unfazed by the release of historic initial jobless claims while the Senate passed a massive economic stimulus bill amid the coronavirus outbreak, which it is set to vote on tomorrow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketed more than 1,100 points, or 5.4% led by a plethora of companies, including Apple, which is up over 3% today. The S&P 500 has bounced another 4.8% while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 4.1%. Those gains continued the Dow and S&P 500 on the path for a three-day winning streak, as the Nasdaq finished in the red Wednesday. They also put the indices up about 20% over the past three days.

Stock Index ETFs are also continuing to move higher, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) up 4.75%. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) has climbed a solid 5.50%, and the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) is up 3.6%.

Utilities and energy were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500 as both traded more than 5% higher. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) and Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU) are up almost 7% apiece today, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) rallied 7.3% and the Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE) climbed more than 7.1%.
U.S. stocks exploded higher Thursday, even after data showed that unemployed Americans rocketed in the past week, soaring beyond the previous record of 695,000 in October 1982, signaling that investors may still be hopeful that a $2 trillion stimulus package will help stem the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. A vote there is scheduled for Friday. Per CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said coronavirus stimulus checks will hit homes and businesses within three weeks.

Markets first stumbled off of a close to 40% drop on Monday, closing just off the lows before commencing a massive run Tuesday, where the Dow soared more than 2,100 points on Tuesday, or over 11%, notching its biggest one-day percentage gain since 1933 and its best point increase ever. The S&P 500 rallied 9.4% for its best day since October 2008 on Tuesday as well. The market action continued for a second green day Wednesday before falling off into the close.

“From a market perspective … it feels like we’re coming to the end of it,” said Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Novogratz started buying into this market on Monday, he said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean the market’s going to go up, but a lot of that crazy volatility is kind of coming out.”

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