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Wall Street waits on Biden economic stimulus proposal, jobless claims worse than expected: How the headlines affect your money

"All the Trump impeachment noise is largely irrelevant to markets."

US President-Elect Joe Biden delivers remarks, before the holiday, at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on December 22, 2020.
Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images

Markets look ahead to President-elect Joe Biden's economic stimulus proposal, jobless claims are worse than expected, and what you can learn from bitcoin investors' password problems. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Tech stocks lead the market slightly higher

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose slightly Wednesday, with the S&P gaining 0.2% and the Nasdaq rising 0.4%. Meanwhile, the Dow fell just 0.03%. While political uncertainty can move the market, indexes held steady as the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.

The market rose early Thursday as investors waited to hear details of President-elect Joe Biden's proposed economic stimulus package, set for release on the same day.

"Stocks are extending their gains thanks to ongoing stability in the 'three pillars' (stimulus, vaccines, and earnings)," Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge wrote in a note. "All the Trump impeachment noise is largely irrelevant to markets."

Suze Orman on how to use a second stimulus check

Video by Helen Zhao

Jobless claims surge

First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped to 965,000 last week — the highest weekly total since August, according to Labor Department figures. That's up from 784,000 claims the week before and worse than analysts' estimate of 800,000.

The news comes a day after Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard estimated that unemployment for the country's lowest-paid workers is above 20%, showcasing how uneven the economic recovery has been.

"The damage from Covid-19 is concentrated among already challenged groups," Brainard said in a speech. "The K-shaped recovery remains highly uneven, with certain sectors and groups experiencing substantial hardship."

Bitcoin cautionary tales

About 1 in 5 bitcoins in circulation, collectively worth about $140 billion, are stuck because investors have lost passwords, according to The New York Times

It's an important reminder to practice good password management on your financial accounts and assets, experts say. Namely, make sure each account has a unique, complex password. Consider signing up for a password management service such as LastPass or Dashlane to help you keep track.

What is an IPO?

Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Words you've heard: initial valuation

When a company IPOs, an investment bank is hired to determine the initial valuation of the company, or how much it is worth, ahead of its debut on an exchange. Unicorns Petco and Poshmark both joined the Nasdaq Thursday, with initial valuations of $4 billion and $3 billion, respectively. 

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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