Volatility returned to markets Thursday, triggered by the latest U.S. jobless numbers. Markets didn’t expect 3.8 million Americans would file for unemployment insurance last week. The jobless total now surpasses 30 million, or one in six Americans. Similar grim news hit the Eurozone, where GDP shrank 3.8% in Q1, the biggest contraction since these Euro countries started keeping records 25 years ago.
In positive news, the US FDA says it will announce emergency-use authorization of remdesivir, the treatment that Gilead has developed to speed up recovery from COVID-19. This would make it the first drug approved for use to battle the pandemic. Also, tech giants Facebook and Microsoft reported surprising YOY quarterly sales growth. Investors rewarded them a 5.42% and 1% hike, respectively. The Nasdaq survived Thursday with a mild 0.28% loss, though the S&P and Dow shed around 1%. In contrast the small-cap index, the Russell 2000, plunged 3.68%. After hours, Apple‘s EPS beat the street, and the stock popped 1.5%.
Unfortunately, the TSX erased its gains from the previous session, falling 2.94%. In particular, financials and materials sold off, though oil stocks soared, topped by Whitecap Resources, up 16.56%, and Precision Drilling, rising 13.64%. Both WTI and WCS shot up $4 each per barrel, which translates into a 50% gain for Western Canadian Select.