American unemployment remains at historic highs as debate wages on about the contents of the next stimulus bill, and the $600 benefit boost remains a sticking point. Is the additional payment a disincentive to return to work or a major factor in our relative success at staving off economic collapse—or is it both?
Though not perfect and certainly not without several threats still looming in the background, the U.S. has seen a surprisingly strong economic recovery in the months since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. Retail sales have fully rebounded, the housing market is booming, and household income is actually higher now than it was back in March.
The declines in first-time unemployment claims have stalled, and in fact jumped by over 100,000 last week to top 1.5 million on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. With the extended PPP deadline looming at August 8th and the additional $600 boost to unemployment benefits set to expire this month, a growing contingent of Americans—and the American economy as a whole—could soon be in for a shock.
Earnings season is upon us and no one is quite sure what we’re in for. Discord between analysts over earnings-per-share (EPS) estimates have soared, thanks in large part to a swath of companies pulling corporate guidance as economic uncertainty swelled in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.
Tech has been seemingly unstoppable, even in the midst of a global pandemic, with both the S&P 500® Index’s Information Technology sector and the tech-heavy Nasdaq up ~18% year-to-date. In fact, the sector is up nearly 60% from its March lows and the Nasdaq closed out last week with three consecutive all-time highs.
While the economic recovery thus far hasn’t been insubstantial, it’s far from the V many were hoping for and appears to be losing momentum heading into Q3. Unemployment remains stubbornly high as initial claims top 1 million for the 16th straight week and continuing claims hit a new record.
The U.S. services sector shot back to nearly pre-pandemic levels in June, significantly outperforming expectations as over 80% of industries reported seeing growth in business activity. That growth doesn’t look strong enough yet to welcome back all laid-off or furloughed workers though; permanent job losses are still climbing even as new claims continue to slow.
June’s jobs report brought some pleasant surprises, showing another solid month of job growth as economies came back to life and employers welcomed back laid off or furloughed workers, but there’s still “a lot of hardship in these numbers” says White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow—especially for certain vulnerable sectors.
The manufacturing recovery continued in June with a solid rebound in Dallas, but momentum may be difficult to sustain through Texas’s surge in COVID-19 cases and reopening. And after hitting its lowest levels in nearly 40 years, the MNI Chicago Business Barometer—considered a leading indicator for the broader economy—edged up slightly in June
As demand grows for responsible content governance from social media companies—nearly 100 major brands, including Starbucks and Coca-Cola, have paused advertising on social platforms in response to their failure to moderate dangerous and misleading content—FANG stocks suffered their worst decline since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Will the revenue loss be enough to undermine such entrenched leadership?