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Market Shrugs off Record Unemployment Claims Number

Jan 01, 1970 | 12:00 amYuval Bar-Or

This morning's media is abuzz with articles about the weekly unemployment claims number, which is 5 times the previous record set in 1982.  

Here is the AP commentary.

As of 11am, markets have shrugged off this dramatic news, with major indexes rising over 3%. 

I fear market participants are overly optimistic about the recently approved $2 trillion package. Despite it being the largest ever economic stimulus plan, markets appear to be ignoring one other soaring graph -- the one documenting new Coronavirus infections.

I hope markets are correct, but I suspect they are not. Once the hoopla around the eye-popping package dies down, investors will once again take a hard look at the damage the virus is doing in real-time to businesses and households. If we can stop the spread of the virus soon, the recently announced stimulus deal should significantly soften the economic blow. If, on the other hand, the virus continues to spread at the current rate, stimulus efforts may fall far short in their attempt to save us from a deeper recession.