The fourth quarter is starting to prove it was good for businesses and their bottom lines, but new jobs data shows hundreds of thousands of Americans still face new financial challenges every week – and experts say as the economy will only get worse with Covid-19 cases continue to hit new records.
Shortly after the market opened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 88 points, or 0.3%, and the S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was virtually stable.
Among the companies topping the morning’s results, BlackRock – the world’s largest fund manager – posted results above and below expectations, including revenue of nearly $ 4.5 billion in the fourth quarter, but the pace was slower than previous quarters, and stocks are down 3%.
Delta shares, on the other hand, are up 3% despite expectations of nearly 65% drop in sales this quarter after the CEO of the firm said he sees a “good hit” in profitability renewed in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, another 965,000 workers filed new jobless claims last week, nearly 200,000 more than the week before and marking the biggest increase since August; economists expected this figure to be much more moderate.
Global markets advanced, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 ending the day up 0.9%, while the English FTSE 100 and French CAC 40 rose 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.
“The stock market is not the economy – as has been emphasized often throughout 2020 – but even the largest companies are relying on a stronger economy to continue to grow their revenues,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Charlotte, North Carolina. Alliance of independent advisers. “Unfortunately, the economy will continue to worsen as virus numbers continue to move in the wrong direction, but once we get through the winter and warmer weather returns, we should see improvements.”
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to release details of his new stimulus package at 7:30 p.m. EST. The package is expected to total up to $ 2 trillion, with a hefty price tag underscoring the extreme hardships faced by millions of Americans. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup report their results Friday morning, when retail sales data is also expected to be released.
Shares of Affirm, up 5% on Thursday, soared nearly 100% on the fintech lender’s first day of trading on Wednesday, hitting the industry’s newest billionaire CEO Max Levchin.
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