Nearly 1.9 million Americans made initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of new claims made during the pandemic to almost 43 million. While marking the ninth straight week of declining job losses, the figure is still historically large; before the pandemic, the US was averaging 200,000 initial claims per week. Analysts say the high numbers reflect the cascading effect of the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.


Continuing claims—workers who have been collecting unemployment for at least two weeks, a clearer picture of current unemployment—rose by 650,000 to 21 million total. Almost 15% of the US labor force currently collects unemployment benefits, a number that does not include self-employed and gig economy workers currently covered under a temporary relief program. The May jobs report, due out today, is expected to show unemployment near 20%. 


In the meantime, it seems like the stock market seems to do nothing but go up these days. April was the best month for the Dow since the Reagan administration, and stocks were up in May as well. In the time that officially recorded U.S. deaths from COVID-19 increased from 100 to 100,000, the S&P 500 rose by 20 percent.

IndexLastChng.% Chng.
Dow Jones Industrial Average26,282+11.93+0.05%
NASDAQ Composite Index9,616-67.10-0.69%
S&P 500 Index3,112-10.52-0.34%
Global Dow Realtime USD2,898.71+18.97+0.66%
Dow Jones Utility Average…814.06-17.21-2.07%
NYSE Composite Index12,287-15.21-0.12%
NYSE American Composite Index2,031+5.38+0.27%
Russell 2000 Index1,452-0.03-0.0019%
PHLX Semiconductor Index1,953+16.00+0.83%
Gold Continuous Contract1,709.20-18.20-1.05%
CBOE 30 Year Treasury Bond…16.24+0.73+4.71%
CBOE 10 Year Treasury Note…8.20+0.59+7.75%


United States moves off gold standard (1933); Bobby Kennedy is shot at campaign rally, dies next day (1968); RIP Ronald Reagan (2004); RIP science fiction writer Ray Bradbury (2012); RIP fashion designer Kate Spade (2018).