S&P rises even after Surprisingly U.S unemployment benefits claims rise

Since breaking the 4,000 point level last week, the S&P 500 has not looked back and has reached consecutive new highs over the past few days.

The benchmark U.S. index rallied to yet another record high on Thursday, despite data showing a rise in Initial Jobless Claims.

Figures released by the Labor Department showed that Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 16,000 to 744,000 for last week.

Despite Non-farm payrolls blowing past expectations, many Americans are still unemployed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although expected to come in at 680,000 applications, claims were more than this, and surpass last week’s number of 728,000.

Irrespective of this, the S&P 500 was up 0.42% as of writing.

Yellen urges world leaders to “do more”

Former Fed Chair, and current U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen today warned the world’s largest economies to take more action in supporting the recovery from COVID-19.

Speaking in front of the IMF and World Bank, Yellen stated that although action was already taken, more was needed to help drive global growth back to pre-pandemic levels.

In a statement, she said, “The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the trend of rising income inequality, raising concerns about a divergent path within and across countries. We also face the existential threat of climate change. We can only resolve these problems through strong international cooperation”.

She also added that although the U.S. has recently passed a $1.9 trillion bill, it will be working on further infrastructure aid.

Oil prices stutter as demand concerns rise

As COVID-19 cases in India and South America continue to rise, concerns over the demand for oil sent prices lower on Thursday.

Prices fell as it was reported that Brazil recorded close to over 4,000 COVID-19 deaths yesterday, with India recording new highs in infections.

In the case of India, which is the world’s second-largest net importer of crude, the rise in cases could mean that oil dependent industries like travel, may slow until infections begin to slow.

WTI crude was down to an intraday low of $58.82 after trading above $60 earlier in the session.

Quote of the day – “The goal of a successful trader is to make the best trades. Money is secondary.”

– Alexander Elder

Eliman Dambel

Senior Market Analyst