Futures point to flat start; jobless claims surge to record level
S&P futures vs fair value: +2.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +29.30. The stock market is on pace to open roughly flat as the S&P 500 futures trade two points, or 0.1%, above fair value. Weekly initial claims surged to a record high, but the market has reacted well to the report with futures at a higher level now than after its release. Specifically, jobless claims for the week ending March 21 surged by 3.001 million to 3.283 million (Briefing.com consensus 525,000) following an adjusted 282,000 (from 281,000) in the prior week. Although the number is jaw-dropping, many aren't entirely surprised given the nationwide temporary store closures mid-month. Still, this should give the House the message that the stimulus bill, which was unanimously approved by the Senate last night, needs to be passed as soon as possible to provide much-needed relief for Americans. A voice vote is reported to take place tomorrow, but it could be delayed further if someone asks for a roll call vote.