stock market

loss of 20 million private sector jobs underlines economic pain

The U.S. stock market came under pressure Wednesday, even as investors looked ahead to the easing of lockdown measures, with states like California allowing some businesses to open their doors again on Friday.

“One thing is for sure is that this pandemic health crisis has produced depression-magnitude job losses which means this recovery is going to take longer than many are thinking,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG, in a note.

The private-sector employment number comes a day before the weekly U.S. jobless claims report and ahead of Friday’s more closely followed monthly nonfarm-payrolls report. On Wednesday, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Friday’s report would be “one of the worst ever.”

The illness derived from COVID-19 has infected 3.6 million people world-wide, and a third of that figure is in the U.S. alone, More than 250,000 lives have been lost globally.

Which companies are on the move?

Office Depot Inc After the office supplies retailer’s earnings blew past estimates for the first quarter.

Disney late Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $460 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $18.01 billion, up from $14.9 billion in the year-ago quarter, Shares were up 0.4%.

Shopify Inc. shares were up 5.3% after the e-commerce retailer posted a surprise adjusted profit and said that gross merchandise volume accelerated in April from the first quarter.

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