Wall Street suffered a stock market beatdown Thursday with hopes for a quick turnaround for the economy dashed by a surprise resurgence in unemployment.
The Dow tumbled 353 points in its first drop all week. The S&P 500 shed 40. The Nasdaq got slammed - falling more than 2 percent, a dive of 244 points.
Applications for new unemployment claims jumped to more than 1.4 million -in the first weekly rise in four months. The total number of Americans receiving some type of jobless aide now stands at nearly 32 million.
The rise in joblessness comes at a critical time. An extra $600 a week government payout is set to expire next week and senators in Washington are haggling over whether to extend the benefit, and if so, by how much.
Dan Russo is chief market strategist at Chaikin Analytics.
"I think people are trying to wrap their heads around what the next stimulus bill will look like. I think that people are kind of honing in on the unemployment benefit to be only $400 a month, which to me would be a disappointment to the market. So I think that's what's driving near-term trading here." Apple was a major drag on the stock market's performance. Investors dumped the stock on worrIES the tech giant faces a multi-state consumer protection probe, first reported by Axios. Shares of Apple tumbled 4-1/2 percent.
Microsoft also was a top loser after its cloud computing business posted its first-ever quarterly growth below 50 percent. Microsoft slumped more than 4 percent.
Twitter, however, bucked the gloomy trend. It announced it highest-ever annual growth in daily users. Shares of Twitter rallied 4 percent.