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Jobless Claims Jump to 30 Million in Six Weeks

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Initial Jobless Claims for the last month and a half has been something of a nightmare, let’s not kid ourselves. Each time a new, dire estimate comes out for the past week of claims, the actual number is always higher. Such is the case this morning as well: 3.8 million Americans put in new jobless claims last week, more than the 3.5 million expected. This is down from the positively revised previous week’s total of 4.27 million.

And therein lies the good news: following the spike of nearly 6.9 million claims in one week at the end of March, totals have been coming down steadily in the subsequent weeks. That still amounts to 30 million U.S. jobs lost in just the last 6 weeks, but we’ll take any good news we can get these days.

Continuing Claims hit a new record high, reporting a week in arrears: 17.992 million longer-term claims have been registered as of two weeks ago. Expect these figures to continue climbing as the weeks go by. And remember also that a new Employment Situation report from the U.S. government comes out a week from tomorrow. We expect new lows here, as well.

March numbers for Personal Income and Consumer Spending both came in lower than expected, at -2.0% and -7.5%, respectively. Then again, March is a hard month to read for economic signals, as it contains the fault line for the “stay at home” initiatives which voluntarily mothballed the domestic economy. Compare to February’s respective +0.6% and +0.2% read to see how far we’ve come. And again, we still have farther to go.

Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) beat Q1 earnings estimates by a penny this morning, bringing in 11 cents per share. This is a solid dime lower than year-ago earnings, but we must again solve for ad revenue reductions, as we’ve seen in most social media companies already reported this quarter. Revenues overall, however, outperformed nicely to $807.6 million, up 4.5% from the Zacks consensus and the $787 million from a year ago. Yet shares are down 5.8% in today’s pre-market — a sell-the-news story during pre-market trading in the red.

McDonalds (MCD - Free Report) posted mixed data for its Q1 report ahead of the opening bell: earnings of $1.47 per share missed the $1.59 expected and fell from $1.72 per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $4.71 billion eked out a 0.4% positive surprise, however, though down from Q1 2019’s $4.96 billion. U.S. sales for March tumbled 13%, largely on the actions take to stop the spread of coronavirus. Shares are down 2% ahead of the opening bell.

Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) also put up mixed numbers this morning, with a 2-cent beat to 71 cents per share on $26.61 billion missing the Zacks consensus by 0.86%. Revenues are down year over year, as well, though not drastically. Shares are being hit hard this morning, however, down 6% from yesterday’s closing price after already having been down 13% year to date.


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