Stocks plummet on worst GDP data on record, increase in unemployment

Stock markets opened to significant losses Thursday morning on news that the U.S. experienced the worst quarterly economic contraction on record earlier this year and an uptick in weekly jobless claims.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 300 points, or 1.1 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 31 points, or 1 percent.

U.S. gross domestic product contracted by an unprecedented 32.9 percent in the second quarter as the country locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initial unemployment claims, at 1.4 million, rose for the second week in a row as new outbreaks across the country led some states to reimpose closures.


The market dips occurred despite the fact that economists had largely expected the poor data.

After an initial nosedive in March, stocks have recovered much of their lost ground as traders look past the crisis.

Thus far, they have largely brushed off the most recent outbreaks, which have led to records in daily case counts and hospitalizations, as well as an uptick in deaths.

More than 150,000 Americans have died due to the coronavirus.