Home / ECONOMY / The Stock Market is Imploding, and Jobless Claims Are at an All-Time High as the Coronavirus Wreaks Unprecedented Havoc

The Stock Market is Imploding, and Jobless Claims Are at an All-Time High as the Coronavirus Wreaks Unprecedented Havoc

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By Michael Snyder

Just a few weeks ago everything seemed completely normal to most people, but now fear of the coronavirus has caused U.S. stock prices to absolutely implode.

 

The stock market crash of 2020 will forever be mentioned alongside the crashes of 1929, 1987 and 2008, and by the time it is over it could potentially end up being the largest of them all.  Close to a third of all stock market wealth in the entire country has already been wiped out, and many experts are warning that the worst is yet to come.  Of course the authorities are going to do their very best to try to prop up the market, but despite the most dramatic intervention by the Federal Reserve that we have ever witnessed, U.S. stocks just had their worst week since 2008

The Dow dropped more than 17% for the week, its biggest one-week fall since October 2008, when it slid 18.2%. The S&P 500 lost more than 13% week to date after dropping another 11.5% last week. The Nasdaq fell 12.6%. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also had their worst weekly performances since the financial crisis in 2008.

And when you look at the numbers for the entire month so far, they are even more depressing

The Dow is down more than 24% for March and is currently on pace for its biggest one-month fall since September 1931. The S&P 500 has dropped 22% month to date and is headed for its worst monthly performance since May 1940.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen a whopping 35.2 percent from the all-time record high that we witnessed in February, and the S&P 500 has fallen 32.1 percent from the all-time record high that it set earlier this year.

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a market crash of such speed and ferocity.

At this point, all of the stock market gains that we have witnessed since Donald Trump became president have been completely wiped out.

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Ouch.

I know that many of you may find this difficult to believe, but stock prices are still substantially overvalued.

According to historical norms, stocks valuation ratios are still way too high, and so stocks still have a lot further to fall until they get back to “normal”.

Of course these aren’t “normal” times, and so there is no telling how far prices could eventually fall.

As financial markets continue to go wildly up and down, an increasing number of financial firms are inevitably going to get into very serious trouble.

On Friday, many were absolutely stunned when Ronin Capital completely imploded

Well, no more: according to CNBC’s Scott Wapner, one of the CME’s direct clearing firms was unable to meet its capital requirements on Friday, forcing the exchange to step in and invoke its “emergency protocols” to auction off the firm’s portfolios.

The firm in question: Ronin Capital, which on its website says “seeks the best and brightest people who embrace our Firm’s culture, and can thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial trading environment.” Apparently, that also meant being unable to quantify your risk exposure.

Sadly, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

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Meanwhile, the greatest corporate debt bubble in history appears as though it is about to burst in a major way.  According to Bloomberg, “the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled” over the past couple of weeks…

In less than two weeks, the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled to a half-trillion dollars as the collapse of oil prices and the fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries.

In all, U.S. corporate bonds that yield at least 10 percentage points above Treasuries, as well as loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar, have swelled to $533 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

But most ordinary Americans are not really too concerned about such matters.

What many Americans are worried about these days is whether or not they will actually have jobs next week.

As the U.S. literally shuts down from coast to coast, Americans are losing jobs at a pace that is mind blowing, and we are being told that state jobless claims “are growing geometrically”

State jobless filings are growing geometrically, a signal of how the national numbers will change when we have them. Last Monday, Colorado had 400 people apply for unemployment insurance. This Tuesday: 6,800. California has seen its daily filings jump from 2,000 to 80,000. Oregon went from 800 to 18,000. In Connecticut, nearly 2 percent of the state’s workers declared that they were newly jobless on a single day. Many other states are reporting the same kinds of figures.

When I first read those numbers, they took my breath away.

And since most workers in this country are living paycheck to paycheck, large numbers of them will almost instantly be struggling to pay their basic expenses once they are let go.

Sadly, more layoffs are coming, and we are now being warned to brace ourselves for job loss numbers that once would have been unthinkable

The first real bad U.S. economic data from the coronavirus outbreak was released on Thursday, as initial jobless claims surged 70,000 to 281,000, the highest level in 2.5 years.

But that is not anything compared with what is in store.

David Choi, an economist from Goldman Sachs, says initial claims for the week ending March 21 may jump to a seasonally adjusted 2.25 million.

Please pray for those that are losing their jobs, because most of them will not be able to find work for the foreseeable future.

What we are dealing with is not just another economic downturn.  In her most recent article, Annie Lowrey described this as an economic “shock” that is “more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced”…

What is happening is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced. The unemployment rate climbed to its apex of 9.9 percent 23 months after the formal start of the Great Recession. Just a few weeks into the domestic coronavirus pandemic, and just days into the imposition of emergency measures to arrest it, nearly 20 percent of workers report that they have lost hours or lost their job. One payroll and scheduling processor suggests that 22 percent of work hours have evaporated for hourly employees, with three in 10 people who would normally show up for work not going as of Tuesday. Absent a strong governmental response, the unemployment rate seems certain to reach heights not seen since the Great Depression or even the miserable late 1800s.

So how bad could things ultimately get?

Well, Goldman Sachs is now forecasting that on an annualized basis U.S. GDP will plunge 24 percent in the second quarter

Goldman Sachs economists on Friday forecast an unprecedented 24% decline in second quarter gross domestic product, following a 6% decline in the first quarter, based on the economy’s sudden and historic shutdown as the country responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

If that projection is anywhere close to accurate, we are about to see economic suffering that will be off the charts.

Needless to say, cries for help from the federal government will soon become overwhelming.  At this point, even billionaires such as Ray Dalio are pleading for the government to do more

As the coronavirus spread Thursday, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio said the outbreak will cost U.S. corporations up to $4 trillion, and “a lot of people are going to be broke.”

“What’s happening has not happened in our lifetime before. … What we have is a crisis,” the Bridgewater founder said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There will also be individuals who have very big losses. … There’s a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money.”

So a broke government that is already 23.5 trillion dollars in debt is supposed to borrow and spend trillions more to bail everyone out?

Good luck with all that.

We have reached the beginning of the end.

We have reached a time when everyone and everything is going to be shaken, and life is never going to go back to the way it was before.

But as I keep stressing, now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help we can get through this, but God’s plan for your future may end up looking radically different from what your plan for the future would have looked like.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Republished with permission The Most Important News

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About Michael Snyder

Almost everyone will find something in my articles that will deeply upset them. That is okay. I am a truthseeker. I just call it like I see it. If you disagree with me on some issues I will not be offended. I hope that you will not be offended if I disagree with you on some issues.One of the things that you should know about me is that I put a very high priority on love. Even though I write about a lot of heavy issues, hopefully I am doing it with a loving heart. If we want to make it through the times that are coming we have got to start learning how to love one another.The world is becoming a very cold, cruel place. It sure could use a lot more love.Another thing that you should know about me is that I am a Christian. And I am one of those Christians that actually believes the Bible, and there are a lot of people out there that don’t like people like that.I believe that God loves us very much and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to this earth to die on the cross for our sins.

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