US stocks open sharply lower

Companies in the JSE recorded double-digit share price declines on Monday morning (Photo: Bryan R. Smith, AFP)
Companies in the JSE recorded double-digit share price declines on Monday morning (Photo: Bryan R. Smith, AFP)

Wall Street stocks opened sharply lower Thursday after another spike in US jobless claims amid worries over rising coronavirus cases in some states that have reopened their economies.

About 35 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 26,138.71, down 3.2 percent, or about 850 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 2.7 percent to 3,105.14, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.1 percent to 9,811.49.

The Nasdaq has closed at records the last three days amid a major rally by US stocks following their March plunge. But some analysts believe traders have overestimated the likely economic rebound following coronavirus shutdowns.

Despite moves to reopen businesses nationwide, another 1.54 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department reported, bringing the total initial claims since the shutdowns began in mid-March to 44.2 million.

The figure was lower than last week's jobless claims, but a gloomy reminder of the headwinds facing the US economy.

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell highlighted the uncertainty of the outlook after the central bank signaled it expects to keep interest rates lower for the next few years.

Analysts also pointed to rising coronavirus cases in some states that have reopened, a trend that could depress economic activity even if it doesn't result in more lockdowns.

Among individual companies, Grubhub rose 5.7 percent after agreeing to be acquired by Anglo-Dutch meal delivery firm Just Eat Takeaway.com for $7.3 billion, which would form the world's largest online food delivery company outside of China.

ZAR/USD
16.99
(-0.10)
ZAR/GBP
21.25
(-0.18)
ZAR/EUR
19.22
(-0.08)
ZAR/AUD
11.84
(+0.01)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.10)
Gold
1784.40
(-0.03)
Silver
18.24
(-0.19)
Platinum
820.00
(+0.06)
Brent Crude
43.07
(+0.70)
Palladium
1926.00
(+0.44)
All Share
54846.28
(+0.60)
Top 40
50503.91
(+0.65)
Financial 15
10134.53
(-0.15)
Industrial 25
76434.98
(-0.16)
Resource 10
51142.00
(+2.00)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1652 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2175 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3224 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2348 votes
Vote