With employers struggling to find workers, red States took action. They prematurely slashed Biden’s federal unemployment benefits and, what do you know? Americans began going back to work! Thursday’s unemployment data proves it.
The Department of Labor released unemployment data for the week which showed a larger-than-expected drop in claims. Initial claims were 406,000, 38,000 less than the week before. Data outperformed the 425,000 number expected by economists. Continuing claims dropped below 3.7 million, to 3,642,000.
Why the sudden drop?
You can thank the ‘tough’ love from conservative states. In recent weeks, red states took against the increasing labor shortage. Indeed, more than three-quarters of Republican-led states announced they are cutting off access to federal pandemic-relief unemployment benefits.
The effects are already being felt. This is great news, as unemployment has serious negative effects, both for the individual and their communities, not to mention the economy.
Other U.S. economic indicators were released on Thursday as well. First-quarter GDP met expectations, at 6.4%. Durable goods orders declined 1.3% in April, vs. the expected increase of 0.8%.
Investors cheered the news. At 12:42 pm ET, markets were all higher.
- S&P 500: 4,209.20 +0.31%
- Nasdaq futures: 13,766.96, +0.21%
- DOW futures: 34,465.37, +0.42%
Stocks To Watch
Best Buy sales increased by 36% in the first quarter, as stimulus checks fuelled more electronics purchases. The company reported $2.23 adjusted earnings per share, beating the expected $1.39. Revenue also outperformed expectations, at $11.64 billion vs. $10.44 billion expected.
Dollar General reported a net income of $2.82 per share, beating the estimated $2.14. However, the company’s first-quarter revenue decreased by 0.6% to $8.4 billion. The company beat the estimated $8.19 billion in revenue, but the drop in absolute terms was still enough to dip the stock in premarket trading.
Shares of Anaplan tumbled as the company reported $41.5 million in operating losses; 33.8% of total revenue. The American planning software company also announced that its CFO David H. Morton will step down “to spend more time with his family.”
Deutsche Bank raised Ford‘s stock price target from $14 to $16. The car manufacturer doubled down on electric vehicle production, announcing it expects EVs to account for 40% of its global sales by 2030.
AMC and GameStop stocks slid in pre-market trading as institutional investors took the lead. The stocks are expected to rebound again during regular trading hours. The “meme stocks” are experiencing another “short squeeze,” as retail investor interest surged.
- BBY Best Buy Co., Inc. $121.92, +4.16%, 12.5K (volume)
- DG Dollar General Corp. $196.52, -1.73%, 11.2K (volume)
- PLAN Anaplan Inc. $50.24, -11.86%, 33.9K (volume)
- F Ford Motor Co. $14.29, +2.81%, 528.5K (volume)
- AMC AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Cl A $18.60, -4.91%, 6.5M (volume)
- GME GameStop Corp. Cl A $233.80, -3.61%, 132K (volume)
Commodities To Watch
Oil dropped as investors weight the possibility of sanctions against Iran’s exports being lifted. Gold and crypto remained steady, just below benchmark numbers.
- WTI crude: $65.73, -0.72%
- Brent Crude: $68.26, -0.68%
- Gold: $1,896.90, -0.23%
- BTC: $39,479.28, -0.62%