3 Million More Unemployed; Dow Jumps 377

John Divine

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a great day on Thursday as the blue-chip index staged its most vehement intraday rebound in about two months. Meanwhile, initial unemployment claims for the week ending on May 9 clocked in at 2.98 million, about 20% worse than the 2.48 million analysts expected.

The Dow bounced 841 points from its morning trough to its afternoon close, driven largely by a rally in the beaten-down financial sector.

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The benchmark index added 377 points on the day, or 1.6%, to finish at 23,625.

Boeing CEO steps in it. Boeing (ticker: BA) CEO David Calhoun is dealing with the fallout from a Tuesday interview in which he speculated that one of the major airlines -- and thus one of Boeing's key customers -- would go belly up by the fall. Meanwhile, Boeing is seeking aid from the federal government as it faces severe financial problems of its own.

Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B, BRK.A) CEO Warren Buffett sold the sprawling holding company's entire position in U.S. airlines in the first quarter, an unusual and dramatic bet against the future of the entire airline industry as the pandemic ravages travel both domestic and international.

Narrative shifting from "V-shape" to "swoosh shape" recovery. Long the talk of financial media, markets seem to have been wagering heavily on a rapid, V-shaped recovery for the economy. That consensus tale seems to be fading from headlines as economists, investors and market-watchers evaluate, perhaps more realistically, a landscape in which jobless claims are falling less rapidly than expected and consumer behavior faces unknown and unprecedented changes.

Coty continues multi-day sell-off. Beauty retailer Coty ( COTY) again ended as the single worst-performing stock in the entire S&P 500, falling an additional 8.2%, more than double the day's second-worst performer in the index. Earlier this week the cash-strapped Coty sold a majority stake in its beauty business to KKR ( KKR).