US stocks jump for a third day after unemployment figures soar to 3.3m

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Dow jumps 800 points as US stocks rise for third day in a row after $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill is passed and unemployment figures rise to 3.3m

  • US stocks marched higher on Wall Street on Thursday putting the market on track for its first three-day rally in six weeks
  • The Dow jumped 800 points in afternoon trading on Thursday, while the S&P 500 was up 92 points 
  • It put the market on track for its first three-day rally in six weeks 
  • The gains came soon after Labor Department released its employment figures showing jobless claims had increased by 3 million last week 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

US stocks have jumped for a third day in a row after a $2 trillion rescue bill was passed by the Senate and unemployment figures rose to 3.3 million as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the economy. 

The Dow jumped 800 points in afternoon trading on Thursday, while the S&P 500 was up 92 points.

It put the market on track for its first three-day rally in six weeks even as the astonishing scale of the downturn slamming the economy because of the coronavirus becomes more apparent.  

The gains came soon after Labor Department released its employment figures showing jobless claims had increased by 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic ground the country to a sudden halt.  

 

Investors were relieved that a massive surge in unemployment applications, despite busting records at 3.3 million, fell short of the worst forecasts. 

The outbreak has happened so suddenly that the jobless report is one of the first points of data showing how much economic pain it´s creating. 

The Dow was down nearly 500 points just before the jobless claims number was released Thursday morning but rebounded at opening. 

The stock market notched its first back-to-back gains on Tuesday and Wednesday on optimism surrounding actions by the Federal Reserve to support credit markets and the approval in the Senate of a $2.2 trillion economic aid package. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier on Thursday they would provide essentially unlimited lending to support the economy as long as it is damaged by the viral outbreak. 

In a rare interview on NBC’s Today on Thursday, the Fed chair said the bank’s efforts are focused on helping the economy recover quickly once the threat from the virus has passed. 

When asked if the Fed would run out of ammunition to support the economy, Powell said no. 

‘When it comes to this lending, we’re not going to run out of ammunition. That doesn’t happen,’ he said.   

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday they would provide essentially unlimited lending to support the economy as long as it is damaged by the coronavirus outbreak

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday they would provide essentially unlimited lending to support the economy as long as it is damaged by the coronavirus outbreak

The Labor Department released its employment figures on Thursday showing jobless claims had increased by 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic ground the country to a sudden halt 

Still, the Fed chair said the economy’s path is largely dependent on the length and severity of the viral outbreak. The Fed’s policies will likely have their greatest impact when the economy does start to rebound, which he said could happen in the second half.

‘We know that economic activity will decline probably substantially in the second quarter… It will really depend on the spread of the virus. The virus is going to dictate the timetable here,’ he said. 

‘When the economy begins to rebound, then we’ll be there to make sure that rebound is as strong as possible.’  

Powell also acknowledged that the economy ‘may well be’ in a recession, but said that this is a unique downturn in that it was caused by efforts to control the disease. 

He said the economy itself was strong before the outbreak began.

‘If we get the virus spread under control fairly quickly, then economic activity can resume, and we want to make that rebound as vigorous as possible,’ Powell said.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 0.81% from 0.85% late Wednesday. It had been as low as 0.77% just before the jobless report was released. Lower yields reflect dimmer expectations for economic growth and greater demand for low-risk assets 

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