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Stocks jump even as jobless claims surge to record 3.3 million

U.S. stocks notched their first three-day rally in six weeks Thursday on hopes that Congress will quickly approve a coronavirus rescue package for the economy while the outbreak in China is showing signs that it has been largely contained.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 1,351.62 points, or 6.4%, to close at 22,552.17. The blue-chip average has advanced more than 20% over the past three days, its biggest three-day gain since 1931. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 6.2% to finish at 2,630.07. 

The gains came 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. 

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. Forecasters say a recession looks increasingly inevitable.

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