July 9, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Good morning,

It was a rather quiet day of trading yesterday in anticipation of the job report to be released this morning.  On the day, the Dow and S&P 500 gained 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively, while the NASDAQ was again the winner gaining 1.4%.

The Labor Department reported this morning that 1.314 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a figure of 1.39, reflecting that the economy continues to outperform analysts’ expectations.

These weekly jobless claims have been falling for more than three months since their peak in the last week of March.  This is a good sign because it means fewer people are finding themselves in need of first-time unemployment benefits.  Yet the number of claims remain stubbornly high and aren’t trending downward as quickly as some economists would otherwise like.

The NASDAQ Composite as been the highlight of the U.S. equity markets in 2020.  The NADSAQ was up 1.4% yesterday, 2.7% week to date and on pace for its second positive week in a row and its third positive week on four.  Most importantly, the NASDAQ finished yesterday at a record close, its 25th record close of 2020.