A view of the fearless girl wearing a mask in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City USA during coronavirus pandemic on April 25, 2020.
John Nacion | NurPhoto | Getty Images
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8:55 am: U.S. GDP contracted 5% in the first quarter
The U.S economy shrank 5% in the first quarter, versus a preliminary reading of a 4.8% decline, according to a revision from the Commerce Department. The coronavirus pandemic caused deep damage on the U.S. economy, dragging down consumer spending, exports and inventories. This also marked the first negative GDP reading since in the first quarter of 2014. —Li
8:35 am: Jobless claims top two million last week
Another 2.123 million Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting 2.05 million new filings. Since the pandemic was declared in mid-March, more than 40 million have filed claims. However, pace of new claims continues to decline. Continuing claims, or those who have been collecting for at least two weeks, fell 3.86 million from the previous week to 21.05 million. This number offers a clearer picture of how many workers are still sidelined.– Li, Cox
8:22 am: Large Wall Street speculators aren’t buying this market comeback
The S&P 500 has crossed the monumental 3,000 threshold on rising optimism about an economic recovery, but the big money on Wall Street is skeptical of the comeback. In fact, large spectators, hedge funds and big investment firms have pushed their net short positions on the S&P 500 futures to the most aggressive since February 2016, according to Bank of America. ”No belief in rally from futures positioning,” Stephen Suttmeier, the bank’s technical analyst, said in a note. “After a 30%+ rally in the SPX from late March, futures positioning data suggest that large speculators, leveraged funds and asset managers do not believe in the US equity market rally.” —Li
7:53 am: Rotation away from stay-at-home names continues
The shift away from stay-at-home stocks and into those that would benefit from a quick economic recovery continued in premarket trading on Thursday. Shares of Netflix and Amazon fell 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively, though trading of the streaming video giant was light. Travel stocks rose, however, with Hilton gaining 1.8% and Carnival climbing 0.9%. —Pound
7:51 am: Apple price target raised at JPMorgan, ‘see stronger outlook on SE launch and other levers’
JPMorgan raised its price target on shares of Apple to $365 from $350 based on strength in the tech giant’s iPhone division. The firm’s new target is about 18% above where the stock currently trades. “The recent launch of the iPhone SE, with a strong value positioning, is set to expand Apple’s addressable opportunity in emerging markets, particularly in markets like India,” JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said Thursday in a note to clients. The firm said the new phone can “change the landscape” in emerging markets, and that the “manufacturing and retail footprint [will] drive synergies with a better positioned portfolio.” Shares of Apple have gained 8% this year. —Stevens
7:50 am: Twitter shares slide ahead of expected Trump executive order signing
Twitter shares dropped more than 3% in the premarket as President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order targeting political bias at social media platforms. The order would require the FCC to clarify regulations under a law that largely exempts online platforms from legal liability for users’ posts. The signing would come after Twitter fact-checked some of Trump’s tweets. —Imbert
7:41 am: S&P 500 closes above key level for the first time since March
The S&P 500 closed above its 200-day moving average for the first time since March 4 on Wednesday, which means the index could be poised for more gains ahead. A moving average is a technical indicator used to determine momentum, and the level the S&P had to surpass was 3,000. During Wednesday’s session the benchmark index jumped 44 points to close at 3,036. The S&P had traded above the key level during Tuesday’s session, but wasn’t able to hold it and pared gains into the close. The index is now 38.5% above its recent low on March 23. —Stevens
7:30 am: Jobless claims last week could top two million
Another 2.05 million Americans probably filed first-time claims last week for unemployment insurance, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones. That would mark a continued decline in the pace since the number topped out at 6.9 million in late March. Nearly 40 million workers have filed for claims since the coronavirus pandemic began. Continuing claims have numbered around 25 million, probably a more accurate representation of the actual unemployment level. – Cox
7:27 am: Dow futures rise 100 points as Wall Street tries to build on strong weekly gains
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a solid start for the 30-stock average on Thursday as investors try to add to their strong gains for the week. Dow futures traded 160 points higher, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.2%. The Dow was coming off of back-to-back rallies that put it up 4.4% week to date and above 25.000 for the first time since March. Investors have been rotating this week into stocks that have more upside as the economy reopens while shifting away from “stay-at-home” names such as Netflix and Zoom Video. To be sure, Thursday’s gains were kept in check after China lawmakers approved a national security bill for Hong Kong. The bill will bypass Hong Kong’s legislature, raising concerns over the longevity of Hong Kong’s “one party, two systems” principle. —Imbert
—With reporting from Jesse Pound and Jeff Cox.
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