Unemployment, Spending, and Income Improve… Markets Fall

The markets closed out a volatile week in the red despite positive economic data.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor released its weekly unemployment claims data. The number of new claims fell to 730,000 — beating analyst estimates of 825,000.

On Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released data on personal income and consumer spending. Personal income for January rose 10%, and consumer spending rose 2.4%. Both increases were driven by government stimulus payments that were approved in December.

Despite the improving economic data, the markets fell in a week of choppy trading.

The Nasdaq Composite, which fell as much as 6.2% during the week, ended the week down 4.9%

The S&P 500 closed the week near its lows, down 2.4%.

The Dow Jones was the best performing of the three major indexes. It posted a record high close on Wednesday but ended the week down nearly 1.9%.

In 2020, the last week of February marked the beginning of the worst crash in market history. The S&P 500 went to lose 34% of its value in just 23 trading days.

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