Markets News & Opinions

Here’s Why the Dow’s Parabolic Rally Suddenly Ran Out of Gas

The Dow Jones fell on Thursday as unemployment claims spiked past a brutal milestone and Trump ratcheted up the rhetoric on China.

  • The Dow Jones recovery slammed into a wall on Thursday.
  • U.S. unemployment continues to mount, with more than 30 million jobless claims since the coronavirus outbreak hit the American economy.
  • Further weighing on the Dow, Donald Trump ratcheted up his anti-China rhetoric.

The Dow Jones lost ground on Thursday after initial jobless claims came in worse than expected and catapulted the six-week tally to a nauseating 30 million unemployed Americans.

Further weighing on the stock market, the Trump administration is considering retaliation against China for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.

Dow Jones Struggles as U.S. Unemployment Mounts

The Dow Jones fell as Trump ratcheted up the anti-China rhetoric and rolling six-week unemployment claims spiked above 30 million. | Source: Yahoo Finance

All three of the major U.S. stock market indices lost ground during April’s final trading session, putting a bittersweet end to an otherwise spectacular month.

  • The Dow fell 270 points or 1.1% to 24,363.56.
  • The S&P 500 dropped 0.97% to 2,911.36.
  • The Nasdaq edged 0.46% lower to  8,873.75.

The stock market struggled to grapple with another worse-than-expected initial jobless claims report.

More than 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the coronavirus lockdown-era tally to just over 30 million laid-off workers.

Unemployment on this scale hasn’t been seen for many years in the United States, and this finally broke the bullish spirit on Wall Street as the Dow slipped.

Despite the carnage in job markets, Nordea Asset Management’s Sebastian Galy is still in an optimistic mood. He views the rise in global stocks as primarily due to progress made in the fight against the coronavirus, telling,

Equity markets are being supported by the introduction of an effective drug to help against Covid-19 significantly improving the outlook from a health perspective though it is no panacea. There is a large slew of efforts underway, and more are likely to pay off in the coming weeks and months though the WHO had warned it could take more than a year to get a vaccine. We remain constructive on risk.

Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to power a lot of this optimism, as he looks for a rapid FDA decision on Gilead’s experimental remdesivir drug, which has shown signs of being effective in treating COVID-19.

Providing an additional headwind for the Dow Jones, the Trump administration is reportedly ramping up pressure on China, which it blames for the coronavirus pandemic.

Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow denied reports that the U.S. was considering canceling its debt obligations to China.

But it’s clear that Trump wants reparations, and that is not a good thing for markets. The prospect of a “phase two” trade deal ever seeing the light of day has never looked less likely.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has joined the calls to blame China, claiming they owe “trillions.”

Dow Stocks: Apple Higher Ahead of Earnings, Disney Rocked

Crude oil’s ascent over the last few days has been positive for the Dow 30, but this trend looks to be fizzling out.

A 24% rally on Thursday for WTI did little to help oil supermajor Chevron, which took a 3% hit ahead of its earnings release on Friday.

Microsoft managed to post a strong earnings report after the bell on Wednesday, but this did not translate into much upside for MSFT, which managed only a minimal 0.5% gain.

Apple traded 1.5% higher ahead of its earnings. AAPL’s results will have a significant impact on the psychology of the Dow Jones moving forward, given its huge market cap and heavy weighting in the DJIA. You can listen to the earnings call here at 5 pm ET.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:54 PM

Francois Aure

Financial speculator & author living in the hills in Los Angeles. J.D. but very much not a lawyer. Favorite trading books are anything written by Jack Schwager. | Follow Me On Twitter | Email Me