Stock Market Today: Record Jobless Claims; Apple 5G iPhone Delay?

Despite a record surge in weekly jobless claims, investors saw more gains in the stock market today.

Stock Market TodayThat was the talk of Wall Street on Thursday, as to be expected. Economists were expecting about 1.65 million new jobless claims this week. They were way off, with the total topping 3.2 million, almost double expectations. However, the market was ready for just about any disappointing number.

After a late-session tumble on Wednesday, stock futures came into Thursday down more than 2% at one point. By the time stocks opened for trading, the S&P 500 was already rocking higher. It closed higher by 6.1%.

That’s even as reports suggest that jobless claims will likely climb in the weeks to come. For now, it’s having no impact on the market, but we’ll see how long this rosy sentiment lasts despite the coronavirus from China showing little positive traction.

Not Out of Ammo Yet

On Thursday morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed still has plenty of ammo. That’s for all the investors saying the Fed can’t buy more assets or move beyond rate cuts.

Powell explained that, as investors pull out of riskier assets, it has had a negative impact on other parts of the market that have “just stopped working.” The Fed has stepped to aid in lending, providing liquidity in various markets. And the Fed plans to keep doing its part to support the financial system, he said.

The comments come a day ahead of the House of Representative’s planned vote on the $2 trillion stimulus bill. Investors are hopeful it gets approved, but are worried about a sell-the-news reaction in the stock market.

In any regard, many companies are hoping for it to get done too. It’s no new news that airlines have taken a massive hit by now. Until they get potential federal support, some airlines, such as Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA) are getting creative. The two have started offering cargo charter services on passenger planes in hopes to increase revenue.

With the proposed bill, $58 billion should be going to the airline industry to help with the huge loss the coronavirus has caused.

Nevada casinos reported gaming revenue increased 3.1% in February to $1 billion. Sports betting saw the total increase by 6.3% to $38.1 million. While the numbers leading up the pandemic were very solid, that’s not going to be the case once the numbers for March and April roll around.

Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and others have suffered notably as a result, although the stocks have bounced in recent trading.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

According to reports, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is considering a delay of its 5G iPhone, which is currently set to launch this fall. Between potential supply chain limitations and possible lower consumer demand, it’s too early to tell. Apple is paying close attention to the ever-changing situation and plans to have a decision by May.

Yet another company that’s struggling right now is Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE). Due to the huge decrease in restaurant traffic and cash flow, the company just informed landlords that it won’t be able to make its April 1 rent payment at any of its storefronts. Interestingly, shares rallied slightly on the day.

One industry that has been staying strong during the pandemic is cannabis. In state where it’s legal, many cannabis stores have been allowed to remain open. Further, MKM Partners said they are seeing resilient sales. Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), Aphria (NYSE:APHA), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) and others all rallied notably on the day.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares jumped more than 10% in the stock market today. The rally came on news that CEO Rich Williams and COO Steve Krenzer will step down. Aaron Cooper, who is Groupon’s president of North America, will serve as the interim CEO. Williams will help in the search to find a permanent CEO.

Ford (NYSE:F) is looking to reopen some production plants in North America. Michigan, Kentucky and Missouri have a tentative restart date of April 14, while the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico hopes to reopen earlier, on April 6. Ford will also be using additional safety measures to protect returning workers.

Ford also had its credit cut to Junk at S&P.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long AAPL. 

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