Dow Slumps in Wake of Jobless Claims

Stock indexes slid downward before open on Thursday as the US Department of Labor released the weekly unemployment report, with signs that growth in US employment is slower than expected.

Futures for the Dow were down 99 points to 31,450 (-0.3%) with the S&P 500 Index dipping 18 points down to 3.910 (-0.5%). Nasdaq-100 futures fell by 113.5 to 13,586.25 (-0.8%).

The Department of Labor’s report shows that unadjusted unemployment claims from the week of February 13 have decreased by 5,702 (-0.7%). Analysts had expected a sharper drop, predicting a decrease of 18,432 (-2.1%) for this weeks jobless claims. Further data shows that the advanced unadjusted insured unemployment rate for the week of February 6 was unchanged, holding at 3.5%. Adjusted data for last week’s claims will be released in the following report.

COVID-19 numbers will also factor into investor decisions, with the US reporting 43% fewer cases over the past two weeks. Further data from medical institutions puts the US vaccination rate at 17%, at a rate of approximately 1.61 million doses administered per day. Despite this, global COVID numbers have risen above 110 million as of this morning according to John Hopkins University.

Elsewhere, the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee will hold meetings at 12 p.m. EST regarding GameStop and the removal of purchasing options for consumers from websites like Robinhood. CEO of Robinhood Vlad Tenev is expected to speak today, as well as Keith Gill, the man who sparked the GameStop stock frenzy on Reddit.

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