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US Stock Market Overview – Stock Whipsaw and Close Higher Despite Elevated Jobless Claims

David Becker

US stock prices whipsawed initially moving lower and then rebounding higher to close the session in the black. This comes despite a larger than expected increase in jobless claims. Despite a rally in the larger indices, the Russel lagged falling more than 1%.

Mastercard reported on Thursday that the company was seeing continued improvement in consumer spending in the first two weeks of May. Most sectors in the S&P 500 were higher led by a surge in financials, consumer staples bucked the trend. The VIX volatility index surged higher during AM trade, hitting 40%, but eased as the market rallied during the PM trading session. Oil prices rallied on Thursday following an announcement from the US government that they would begin to buy 1-million barrels of crude oil per day for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Gold prices broke out on Thursday helping to buoy the miners.

US Initial Jobless Claims Rise

US initial jobless claims rose just shy of 3 million according to the Labor Department. Claims totaled 2.981 million pushing the total since the shelter in place orders to nearly 36.5 million, by far the biggest loss in U.S. history. Expectations were for a 2.7 million rise in new claims. With 36.5 million people out of work, on a workforce of 160 million people puts the unemployment rate near 23%.

Import Prices

US import prices declined to a 5-year low in April, according to the Labor Department. The BLS reported that import prices dropped 2.6%, the largest decline since January 2015, after a revised 2.4% decline in March. Import prices, which exclude tariffs, decreased 2.3% in March. Expectations were for import prices to decline by 3.1% in April. On a year over year basis, April, import prices tumbled 6.8%. That was the largest decrease since December 2015.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire