US stocks slide as dismal jobless data offsets new European stimulus

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

  • US stocks sank Thursday as another round of dismal weekly jobless-claims data offset new economic stimulus efforts in Europe.
  • US jobless claims for the week that ended on Saturday totaled 1.9 million, the Labour Department said Thursday. That exceeded the median economist estimate.
  • Continuing claims, which represent the aggregate total of people actually receiving unemployment benefits, also came in higher than expected.
  • Overseas, the European Central Bank boosted its emergency stimulus by $US676 billion in an increased effort to combat coronavirus economic fallout.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks sank Thursday as yet another week of dismal jobless claims data offset a new round of emergency stimulus from the European Central Bank.

US jobless claims for the week that ended on Saturday totaled 1.9 million, the Labour Department said Thursday. That slightly exceeded the median economist estimate. Further, continuing claims – which reflect the aggregate number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits – were 21.5 million, more than economists expected and an increase from the previous week.

“This is a terrible number, but weekly jobless claims have been on the decline over the past few weeks,” Mark Tepper, CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, told Business Insider. “The rise in continuing jobless claims is worrisome because it means people remained unemployed and didn’t return to work.”

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Thursday:

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Overseas, the European Central Bank increased its stimulus efforts to combat economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The ECB pledged Thursday to add an additional $US676 billion to its emergency stimulus efforts, stepping up its bond-buying program and bringing the total package to more than $US1.5 trillion.

Oil prices slid as traders amid speculation that an upcoming OPEC+ meeting won’t take place. The nations involved were expected to discuss a possible extension of production cuts.West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2.4%, to $US36.38 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude sank 1.9%, to $US39.04 per barrel, at intraday lows.

The US government will release the May jobs report on Friday. Economists expect it to show that unemployment spiked to nearly 20% in the month, the highest since the 1930s, as the economy erased 8 million jobs.

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