Dow sinks after Fed chair calls out risks to the economy: May 13, 2020

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4:04 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Stocks finish lower

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks finished lower on Wednesday, with the Dow logging its worst day since the start of the month.

Dire words from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at an event this morning weighed on the market all day. The central banker said negative interest rates are not on the table and that significant risks in the economy remain. Powell added that the unemployment rate would likely peak in the coming month before declining.

3:53 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Dow headed for worst day in three weeks

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Stocks are on track to end the day deep in the red, with the Dow on track for its worst day since April 21.

The index was last down 2.5%, or 590 points.

The S&P 500, which is 2.1% lower, is bracing for its worst performance since May 1.

Even the Nasdaq Composite, which has fared better than its peers thanks to a rally in tech stocks, is down 2%.

1:15 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

The true test for stocks is still ahead: strategist

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Although stocks are deep in the red today, the major US indexes have rebounded from their recent lows. But whether this rally can stick remains to be seen.

"Now we're worried about the second wave [of coronavirus infections]," said Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "Let's get through this first wave first and get people back to work."

The real economy and the stock market are not very correlated, Belski warned. So people shouldn't assume the pace of a recovery will match any rebound in the stock market.

The recent rally is simply discounting what will happen in six months, he added. The true test of whether the rally can stick is still ahead. The first quarter of this year showed only some of the pandemic's impact. The second quarter will likely be far worse.

Economists predict a snap-back in the third quarter, but it's unclear by how much. After all, economic data for the second quarter won't be available until well into the fall, making it difficult to assess the conditions at hand, Belski cautioned.

"That's why investors should take a long-term view," he added.

1:06 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

How Chipotle is booming even as the restaurant industry is hurting

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Restaurants have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. Yet shares of Chipotle (CMG) hit an all time high this week.

The fast-casual chain has invested heavily in digital in recent years, and with customers staying home that investment is paying off, said CEO Brian Niccol. Some 70% of its business comes digital access points, said CEO Brian Niccol.

In addition, "ll the restaurant operations are run by Chipotle" and which is why the company could pivot so quickly, Niccol told Alison Kosik on the digital live show Markets Now.

Chipotle's approach to its supply chain and operations, as well as a bolstered liquidity cushion, also put the business in a better position, Niccol said. The company has a strong balance sheet, he said, with nearly $1 billion in cash and it recently added a line of credit "to the tune of $600 million," he added.

1:12 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

The economy won't just snap back

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The US economy is in a really bad recession, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's analytics.

A fast snapback, a V-shaped recovery, is not likely at this point," Zandi said on the CNN Business' digital live show Markets Now.

There is just too much uncertainty about a vaccine or the possibility of renewed waves of outbreak, Zandi said.

On top of that, many businesses will fail because they don't have enough of a cash cushion or access to the government's epidemic stimulus programs.

"So even when businesses reopen many won't," he added.

12:51 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Stocks are sharply lower around midday

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks have fallen further after starting the day in the red.

All three major US indexes are around 2% lower, with stocks in the energy and financials sectors leading losses.

The Dow was 2.2%, or 525 points, lower, while the S&P 500 fell 2%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.9%.

Although that feels like a lot, the Dow has actually fallen by more than 1% twice this month already (not including today) and seven times in April.

Even as stocks have soared over the past month, they remain quite volatile. The VIX volatility index spiked 7% today.

11:51 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Millions more jobless claims expected tomorrow

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

More dour jobs news is expected tomorrow.

Economists polled by Refinitiv expect Thursday's initial jobless claims release to show 2.5 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week.

This would bring the total number of first-time claims filed since mid-March to 36 million -- and it would mark the eighth consecutive week of claims in the millions.

Though the figures have been falling every week since they peaked at 6.9 million initial claims in the last week of March, these high levels mean that the economy and its people are still hurting.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly jobs report, America lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone, pushing the unemployment rate to 14.7%.

The weekly first-time unemployment claims don't equal lost jobs, but they are the closest to a real-time measure of the economy and the labor market. Overall, the message seems to be that things aren't getting worse, but we're still in an unprecedented downturn.

9:42 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Powell: The unemployment rate will probably peak in the 'next month or so'

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

In February, the US unemployment rate was near a 50-year low of 3.5%. In April, it skyrocketed to 14.7%, the highest level ever recorded since 1948 when the government began tracking the monthly data.

The road back to a healthier labor market will be painful, said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a virtual event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

It will be particularly painful because recently hired and lower-paid workers are the ones bearing the brunt of the pain, Powell said.

The unemployment rate will probably peak "over the course of the next month or so," he added, and it's reasonable to expect a decline in the unemployment rate after. This decline might even be sharp, but US unemployment will likely remain well above the lows seen at the start of the year.

9:35 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Stocks fall after Fed chair gets all negative about everything

From CNN Business' David Goldman

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is a buzzkill today.

He said the US economy probably needs more stimulus -- but he pooh-poohed negative rates again. Powell also said significant risks remain in the economy, and the recovery isn't here yet. Certainly not for jobs.

Investors weren't pleased.