Stocks suffer weekly loss after dismal jobs report

U.S. stocks slumped for the week and the dollar gained after a plunge in hiring last month hinted at the extent of the pandemic’s toll on the world’s largest economy. Oil rallied on expected output curbs.

The S&P 500 fell for the third time in four days as investors digested the abysmal jobs report that captured data in the period largely before government-mandated shutdowns went into widespread effect. As with record claims for unemployment, the latest numbers bear little information on the current state of the economy, making it difficult for investors to value financial assets.

“No one has ever experienced anything like this,” Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, said by phone. “We’re getting the shock numbers out and the markets tend to front-run bad news. In other words, a lot of the bad news is already built into the market.”

The S&P 500 fell 2.1 per cent

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Brazil lawmakers pass ‘war budget’ as coronavirus cases top 10,000 By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his protective face mask during a news conference to announce measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brasilia

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By Gabriela Mello

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment for a “war budget” to separate coronavirus-related spending from the government’s main budget and shield the economy as the country surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases.

The war budget still needs the Senate’s approval by three-fifths of the votes in two rounds expected to take place next week.

Late on Friday, the lower house approved the main text of the bill with 423 votes in favor and one opposed in a second round of voting after a first score of 505 in favor and two against.

The amendment creates an extraordinary regime to prevent expenses related to a “state of emergency” decree triggered by

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Are we headed for a depression? Economists weigh in

Another day, another surprise for the economic forecasters: a record 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week. Oxford Economics in an email called it an “incomprehensible jump” that may be “the new normal.” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for middle market audit and advisory firm RSM, wrote that such “tectonic shifts” imply a “real-time unemployment rate of 10.1% at a minimum.”

There is so much uncertainty in the world right now that economic forecasters are downgrading their predictions almost as fast as they can make them. Within a few weeks, Goldman Sachs downgraded its second quarter GDP estimates from –2% to –24% to –32%.

Predictions are pretty clear that a recession, and maybe a very bad one, is in the offing. But given how quickly the situation is changing, is there a chance the country is heading for a depression?

Fortune discussed the issue with 10 economists and financial … Read More