Today was an “I have good news and bad news” kind of day. First, the good news – the markets did well.
Nasdaq Enters Green Territory for the Year
The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 saw gains today as the U.S. Labor Department released its frightening weekly jobless claims report. Nasdaq closed at 8979.66 today, a smidge above its 8972.6 closing level for 2019. This means that the index has finally turned positive for the year.
Some Businesses Have Grown Due to Quarantines
Also, Netflix, fitness equipment company Peloton, Etsy and other “staying home” related businesses grew even more than expected last quarter. And oil futures, although still struggling, are trading between $20-$30 per barrel, rather than below zero as we recently saw.
And now for the bad news:
Although Nasdaq is in positive territory for the year now, the S&P 500 and the Dow are still in the red for the year.
Historic New Jobless Claims Continue
More than 3 million new jobless claims have been filed according to the new U.S. Labor Department’s weekly job report for the week that ended on May 2. There were 22,647 million Americans who filed continuing unemployment claims for the prior week that ended on April 25.
This brings the total new unemployment claims filed since the coronavirus pandemic began to more than 33 million.
Recovery May Not Be Swift
While almost 80% of laid-off workers believe they will return to their jobs post-coronavirus, analysts fear that many businesses have sustained enough damage already to prevent them from immediately bringing back all workers.
Some small businesses won’t reopen and major retailers are on the verge of bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take quite some time to reach the lower unemployment rate the US enjoyed pre-coronavirus.