Another Thursday, another concerning jobless claims report to digest in the stock market today.
The job weekly jobless report came in at another 4.42 million claims. Most consensus estimates were somewhere between 4.2 million and 4.5 million. In that respect, we seem to be beyond the massive downside surprises for the reading. Still, it’s concerning that more than 26.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past five weeks.
It shows that state offices are likely overwhelmed by the volume of claims, as federal and state governments look to soften the economic blow while many stay-in-place orders remain in effect.
It wasn’t just the concerning jobless claims report though, a record contraction in the Flash PMI reading and a miss on new home sales also came up short. Surprisingly though, the S&P 500 was trading just fine despite all of these numbers. The index was high by almost 1.5% heading into afternoon trading.
That is, until an unfavorable headline hit the tape. Known by traders as a “tape bomb,” stocks slipped following reports that Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ:GILD) drug remdesivir was having disappointing results in treating patients infected by the novel coronavirus. To the bulls’ credit, equities absorbed the blow pretty well — the S&P 500 erased its gains though, closing flat.
Gilead stock was one of our Top Stock Trades on the day.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
Jeff Bezos is back to calling the day-to-day shots at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) once again. The CEO will step back from handling the long-term tasks and begin to handle the chaos brought on by the coronavirus. That includes keeping workers safe and doing daily calls responding to the outbreak — and also includes calls with government officials.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is working closely with UAW and government officials to safely reopen its U.S. factories. The company plans to bring some workers in next week to help prepare for vehicle production. While Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) expects to reopen production on May 4, GM and Ford (NYSE:F) haven’t come out with a specific restart date for U.S. plants yet.
Tonight the NFL draft is being done remotely and broadcast on Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) ESPN and ABC networks, as well as the NFL Network. Sports betting for the draft has blown up compared to previous years. That’s likely as betting revenues have dried up as live sporting events grind to a halt. In any regard, companies like MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) and Caesar’s Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) will be looking to have plenty of action, while Penn Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) will look for its new Barstool property to have a big night too.
Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM) continues its rapid ascent, now hitting 300 million users after having just logged 200 million on April 1. Keep in mind, the platform had about 10 million users in December. After falling under cybersecurity scrutiny, the company launched an update this week to help ease users’ concerns.
It’s All About Cash
It’s a critical time for Gap (NYSE:GPS) as the company stated it may not have enough cash to continue to operate. Gap didn’t pay rent for the month of April for closed stores in North America. That tallies up to about $115 million in monthly expenses. The next 12 months are crucial for Gap. The retailer plans to cut jobs and finance new debt in order to boost liquidity.
As travel has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) is raising roughly $3.2 billion in new capital. Apollo Global Management and Silver Lake will be providing an equity investment. Both will also get a spot on the board. $1.2 billion will be private placement of perpetual preferred stock and $2 billion will be in new debt financing.
In other Expedia news, the company has also named Peter Kern as new CEO.