The fourth quarter is starting to prove it was good to corporations and their bottom lines, but new jobs data shows that hundreds of thousands of Americans are still facing new financial challenges every week–and experts say the economy will only get worse as Covid-19 cases continue to hit new record highs.
Shortly after the market open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 88 points, or 0.3%, and the S&P 500 ticked up 0.1%, while the tech heavy Nasdaq was virtually flat.
Among firms headlining the morning’s earnings, BlackRock–the world’s largest money manager–posted better-than-expected top and bottom-line results, including revenues of nearly $4.5 billion during the fourth quarter, but the beat was weaker than in previous quarters, and shares are down 3%.
Shares of Delta, on the other hand, are up 3% despite expectations of a nearly 65% decline in sales this quarter after the firm’s CEO said he sees a “good shot” of renewed profitability in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, another 965,000 workers filed new unemployment claims last week, nearly 200,000 more than the previous week and marking the highest increase since August; economists were expecting the figure to be a much softer 800,000.
Global markets ticked up higher, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 ending the day up 0.9%, while England’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 are up 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively.
“The stock market is not the economy–as was often pointed out throughout 2020–but even the largest companies rely on a stronger economy in order to continue to grow revenues,” said Chris Zaccarelli, the chief investment officer for Charlotte, N.C.-based Independent Advisor Alliance. “Unfortunately, the economy will continue to get worse as virus numbers continue to head in the wrong direction, but once we get through the winter and warmer weather returns, we should see some improvements.”
What To Watch For
President-elect Joe Biden is set to unveil the details of his new stimulus plan at 7:30 p.m. EST. The package is expected to total as much as $2 trillion, a hefty price tag underscoring the extreme hardship facing millions of Americans. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup report earnings Friday morning, when retail sales data is also slated to be released.
Shares of Affirm, up 5% Thursday, skyrocketed up nearly 100% on the fintech lender’s first day of trading Wednesday, minting the industry’s newest billionaire, CEO Max Levchin.
Unemployment Claims Spike To Nearly One Million As Pandemic Layoffs Continue (Forbes)
More Stimulus Could Hurt Stocks–Here’s The Indicator To Watch Before It Does (Forbes)
Markets Fret Over Sanders’ Role As Head Of Budget Committee, Stocks Flat As Investors Brush Off Impeachment Plans (Forbes)
U.S. Won’t Ban Investments In Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu–But 9 Other Firms Are Set To Be Off Limits (Forbes)
‘Elections Have Consequences’: Goldman Sachs Makes 6 Big Predictions For The Economy This Year (Forbes)