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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 271 points, or 1.03 percent, before trimming its losses. The S&P 500 dropped 0.06 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite wiped out earlier declines to climb 0.26 percent. The major averages finished mixed on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. government might need to do more to contain economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial jobless claims for the week ended June 13 totaled 1.51 million, the Labor Department said Thursday, raising the total number of job losses to about 46 million since stay-at-home orders were issued in March. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 1.3 million claims.
Looking at stocks, cruise operator Carnival Corp. reported a preliminary second-quarter loss of $4.4 billion and said it expects to burn $650 million a month during the second half of the year as the pandemic keeps ships docked.
Grocery-store chain Kroger reported earnings and revenue that outpaced expectations as digital sales soared 92 percent year-over-year.
Tesla flirted with a close above $1,000 a share for just the second time on record after Jefferies raised its price target to $1,200, saying the electric vehicle is extending its lead over competitors.
Embattled rental-car company Hertz revealed just before Wednesday’s closing bell that it was suspending its plan to issue $500 million of stock. Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 22.
Spotify and Kim Kardashian West have reached a deal for a podcast about the socialite’s work with the nonprofit legal organization Innocence Project, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Gunmaker Smith & Wesson will report its quarterly results after the closing bell.
On the commodities front, West Texas Intermediate crude was higher by 56 cents at $38.52 a barrel while gold dropped $6 to $1,729.60 an ounce.
U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 3.1 basis points to 0.702 percent.
In Europe, Britain’s FTSE dropped 0.47 percent after the Bank of England increased its bond-buying program by 16 percent to 745 billion British pounds. France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were also weaker, trading down 0.75 percent and 0.81 percent, respectively.
Markets ended mixed in Asia, with China’s Shanghai Composite edging up 0.12 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.07 percent and 0.45 percent, respectively.