U.S. stocks rise after jobless blowout, Fed stimulus

New York, April 10 (IANS) US stocks gained after another massive jump in the country’s initial jobless claims and the Federal Reserve’s latest move to support the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 285.8 points, or 1.22 per cent, to close at 23,719.37. The S&P 500 was up 39.84 points, or 1.45 per cent, to 2,789.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 62.67 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 8,153.58, Xinhua news agency reported.
The number of initial jobless claims in the United States totalled 6.6 million last week amid mounting economic fallout from COVID-19, following a similarly staggering figure the week earlier, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday.
The newly released number came after the figure spiked by 3 million to reach a record 3.3 million in the week ending March 21, and then surged by 3.34 million to reach 6.65 million in the week ending March 28, which was revised up to 6.87 million in the new report.
COVID-19 continues to impact the number of initial claims. Its impact is also reflected in the increasing levels of insured unemployment, the bureau noted.
The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced additional actions to provide up to US $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy.
“This funding will assist households and employers of all sizes and bolster the ability of state and local governments to deliver critical services during the coronavirus pandemic,” the US central bank said in a statement.
“The number of new claimants since the coronavirus hit the numbers is 17 million. Bear in mind, many people are out of work and have not filed. Many more are not eligible,” Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Thursday.
“Stocks are up because the damage to the economy — evident in claims — is beyond comprehension, while the response of the Fed is easier to understand,” he added.