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Stock market rallies, unemployment claims record set

On a day when jobless claims smashed a record and U.S. deaths surged past 1,100 as the coronavirus tightened its grip on America, the prospect of a stimulus package soon becoming reality helped propel a third consecutive stock market rally Thursday.

The Labor Department, in announcing the unemployment claims numbers for last week, said what Americans already knew – that layoffs hit the hospitality and food service industries particularly hard. Other industries that struggled included health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing industries, Labor said.

Congress was trying to supply a ray of hope. The House is scheduled to take up a Senate-passed, $2 trillion emergency aid proposal Friday. Swift passage was expected – after an initial hangup, the package flew through the Senate on Wednesday night by a vote of 96-0. President Donald Trump has expressed a willingness to sign the measure. 

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