Stocks declined on Thursday as jobless claims continue to surge.
The Dow and broader U.S. stock market tumbled on Thursday, as the number of Americans filing for jobless claims rose by the millions for a ninth consecutive week.
All of Wall Street’s major indices reported declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA0 declined 101.78 points, or 0.4%, to 24,474.12.
The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks declined 0.8% to close at 2,948.51. Ten of 11 primary sectors reported declined, with energy stocks leading the pack.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) fell 1% to settle at 9,284.88.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) rose on Thursday. The so-called “investor fear index” peaked at 30.20 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would eventually settle up 3.9% at 29.08.
In economic data, U.S jobless claims continued to surge last week, as millions of Americans filed for benefits. The number of workers filing for first-time unemployment benefits increased by 2.4 million last week, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The coronavirus pandemic reached a grim milestone this week, as the total number of confirmed cases swelled past 5 million worldwide. More than 329,000 people have died. In the United States, more than 1.5 million people have been infected, according to the latest Johns Hopkins data.
The Final Word: The U.S. economy is heading for a generational recession in the wake of Covid-19. Gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced in the economy, is forecast to fall 41.9% in the second quarter, according to the Atlanta Fed Bank.