DOW JONES, S&P 500 INDEX PRICE OUTLOOK: STOCK MARKET EYES WEEKLY JOBLESS CLAIMS & CORONAVIRUS SECOND WAVE RISK
- The stock market has gyrated broadly this month as risk appetite starts to waver following an incredible rally by equities since mid-March turmoil
- Dow Jones, S&P 500 ripped 8% higher to kick off June only to forfeit roughly half of those gains on net after whipsawing back lower
- Stocks likely turn to upcoming weekly jobless claims data as investors eye threats from a second wave of coronavirus cases for possible drivers of risk appetite
Stocks have formed a broad trading range throughout June so far as market bulls and bears battle over where equities trend next. The Dow Jones, as well as the S&P 500, jumped about 8% out of the gate to start the month, but the major stock market indices subsequently whipsawed lower to erase all those gains. Stocks have recouped about half of the upside recorded earlier this month to trade higher by nearly 4% on balance since the 29 May close.
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In addition to dovish FOMC action – such as slashing interest rates to zero, providing copious amounts of liquidity and extending a backstop for corporate debt – the decelerating trend in weekly US unemployment insurance claims likely serves as one encouraging fundamental development that has helped bolster stocks.
CHART OF US CONTINUING JOBLESS CLAIMS (WEEKLY, YEAR-TO-DATE)
On that note, short-term outlook for the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hinges predominantly on the upcoming release of weekly initial jobless claims and continuing claims data due this Thursday, June 18 at 12:30 GMT. The most recent continuing claims reading crossed the wires at 20.9-million Americans filing for unemployment insurance week over week. According to the DailyFX economic calendar, the median economist forecast is looking for continuing claims to recede slightly to 19.8-million Americans.
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A better-than-expected print on jobless claims data has potential to refuel risk appetite and provide a boost to stocks. Conversely, if jobless claims figures get clocked above their moving averages that have started to trend lower, it could send a destabilization shock to investors who catapulted the Dow Jones and S&P 500 higher after last Friday’s NFP report smashed expectations. Another fundamental driver that has potential to weigh materially on market sentiment includes coronavirus second wave risk.
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