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Stocks jump even as jobless claims surge to record 3.3 million

U.S. stocks rose Thursday even as data revealed a record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week following a wave of layoffs from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 300 points, a day after the blue-chip average notched back-to-back gains for the first time since February in anticipation of fiscal stimulus from Congress. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.4%. 

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits, a key barometer for layoffs, surged to a seasonally adjusted 3.3 million last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That marked the highest level of claims in history.

The data shouldn’t come as a surprise, analysts say, because investors were already anticipating a significant rise in jobless claims in the near term. Once there is a decline in the number of new infections from the virus, investors anticipate the markets can find a bottom.

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