U.S. Jobless Claims under 1 million for the first time since March!

Amid signs that hiring is picking up in the U.S., initial jobless claims for last week came in at under 1 million for the first time since March.  Economists had expected 1.1 million filings for jobless benefits, but the good news was tempered somewhat by officials at the Federal Reserve warning that more measures need to be taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus, as well as providing additional fiscal support to keep the recovery on track.

U.S. Jobless Claims

Stimulus talks at a standstill

Officials are warning that approval of a further coronavirus aid package could drag on for weeks.  Republican and Democratic leaders appear to be at an impasse with President Donald Trump saying that a “deal is not going to happen”.  It appears that even if negotiations restart quickly it is now unlikely that anyone would receive a stimulus check until September.

S&P 500 remains close to a record high

The S&P 500, was down 0.10% to 3,377.12 in mid-day trading but remains close to its all-time high of 3,393.52 set before the global pandemic caused markets to sell off in March.  The NASDAQ has inched up by 0.68% to 11.087.03, while the Dow and most European markets were off slightly.

Quote of the day:  “If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.”

George Bernard Shaw

Biggest Bull

PENN: Penn National Gaming continues to benefit from its Bar Stool Sports investment with analysts saying the massive social media presence of Barstool may help lower customer acquisition costs for Penn National.  On the back of this price targets have been increased by as much as 20% and PENN has risen by over 9% to $54.25 in mid-day trading.

PENN

Biggest Bear

CSCO: Shares of Cisco Systems dropped by over 11% to $42.65 as the networking giant provided disappointing guidance after slightly beating expectations for its fourth quarter results. The company also announced that CFO Kelley Kramer will be retiring.

CSCO