Stocks fell on Wall Street Thursday after more reports made clear the worldwide devastation the coronavirus outbreak is causing for the economy, per the AP. The Dow dropped 288 points to 24,345, the S&P 500 dropped 27 points to 2,912, and the Nasdaq fell 25 points to 8,889. The losses were 1% or less for all three. Treasury yields also sank, while European stocks fell more sharply. And yet: Even with Thursday’s losses, the S&P 500 closed out one of its best months in decades. Stocks have surged since late March on the promise of massive amounts of aid from the Federal Reserve and Congress. More recently, some US states and nations around the world have laid out plans to relax restrictions that were meant to slow the spread of the virus but also suffocated businesses and jobs.
Because of that, some investors have essentially written off a horrific few months of corporate profits and economic data, and they’re focusing instead on the prospect of growth returning later this year. The S&P 500 rose 12.7% for April, its biggest monthly gain since 1987. Still, another 3.8 million workers filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week as layoffs continue to hammer the country. In Europe, the region’s economy crumpled by the sharpest degree in at least 25 years. And many professional investors have been skeptical of the stock market’s big rally over the last month. Even though some encouraging numbers have come out about the outbreak, it’s still uncertain how long this recession will last and whether new waves of infections could hit.
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