Markets were going back and forth in intraday trading as chances of further fiscal aid from Congress dwindled ahead of the presidential election in November, and as the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits remained elevated.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that 870,000 Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits in the week ended Sept. 19, up from a revised 860,000 claims the week earlier. Economists polled by FactSet had been expecting claims of 850,000.
Jobless claims have held at historically high levels as the labor market continues to see-saw amid the coronavirus pandemic and its back-and-forth effect on companies' need for workers.
Economists at Goldman Sachs cut their fourth-quarter growth forecasts for the U.S. to 3% from 6% and said "further fiscal support will likely have to wait until 2021."
Stocks ended sharply lower Wednesday after Federal Reserve officials warned more fiscal stimulus was needed to rescue a struggling U.S. economy. The S&P 500 has fallen 7.5% so far in September.
Echoing words from Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Jim Cramer said what markets really need now, is targeted stimulus of U.S. companies.
Catch his full take on the market Thursday in the video above.
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