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You might want to sit down for this… 

US jobless claims came in at… wait for it... 3.28M for the week ending March 21. *Big Buck Hunter Voice* “That’s a new record!” 

Surprisingly, that number wasn’t as bad as people thought. No, seriously. Despite having the highest number of unemployment claims in a week since 1982 (700k were filed), consensus estimates were in the 1M to 4M range. Some economists even estimated the damage could be as high as 6M to 7M.

It’s not all moderately good news though. The record-setting week for unemployment ended a streak of 113 straight months of US employers adding jobs. Don’t care if it’s a no-hitter or keeping a balloon off the floor at the office, never like to see a broken streak. 

The bottom line...

Many believe that this is just the beginning of more bad news for the economy. Unemployment is often a lead indicator that signals a potential downturn in the economy. It’s safe to say that recession is on economists' radars...

GDP for the 2nd quarter is expected to drop between 20% and 30%. There is a chance that the stimulus package, if it ever gets passed, could reduce that number to 17%. Gee, thanks. Beyond Q2, GDP has been forecast to contract by 2%, compared to growing 2.86% in 2018 (the most recent data).

Markets take 3 million claims in stride and now brace for ‘tsunami of negative news' [CNBC]

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