Happy Thursday! Today is August 20th and the S&P is set to drop after reaching its record high earlier this week. Apple became the first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap. U.S. weekly jobless claims jump back above a million and fed officials expect that the coronavirus will “weigh heavily” on the economy. More than ⅕ of college students will take a pandemic gap year and Airbnb announces ‘global party ban’ for public health reasons.
U.S. stock futures were lower in a continuation of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve-induced sell-off late in the session, which knocked the S&P 500 from intraday all-time highs on a day when Apple eclipsed a $2 trillion stock market value. In minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, central bankers said they expect coronavirus fallout to “weigh heavily” on the economy.
Apple hit a market cap of $2 trillion, doubling in valuation in just over two years. It’s the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap. Apple was also the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market cap.
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus package.The Labor Department said initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.
The Federal Reserve’s policymaking body released minutes Wednesday of its July 28-29 meeting and expressed concern about the coronavirus’s continuing impact on the economy. On policy matters, committee members expressed skepticism over using bond purchases to control the government bond yield curve. Markets reacted to the downbeat economic outlook and negative comments about yield curve control, sending stocks and bond yields lower and the dollar higher. Officials also discussed “outcome-based” forward guidance, or using specific targets on inflation and unemployment before raising rates. However, the minutes did not indicate a timetable for when that might happen.
Many students are taking a pandemic gap year.Most believe they’ll be exposed to COVID-19 on campus. Notre Dame and North Carolina universities already canceled in-person classes over outbreaks.
Home-sharing platform Airbnb has introduced a global ban on parties as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The company said some people have taken “bar and club behavior to homes” on its platform. The ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and will remain in effect until further notice. Airbnb said 73% of listings had already banned parties in their house rules.