U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 195,000 to 2,981,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 564,000 to 3,616,500. DOL Report

U.S. News

Greg Ip writes for the Wall Street Journal that state governments’ need for federal aid to close impending funding gaps does not imply mismanagement of state finances prior to the crisis, as most states substantially improved budgeting practices in the decade following the Great Recession. Unlike states, which are generally required to balance their budgets, the federal government has an enormous capacity to borrow – a capacity Ip argues should be shared with struggling states to avoid deepening the virus-induced downturn. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that China’s ability to meet the first-year targets of its trade deal with the U.S. is becoming increasingly doubtful as cheap Brazilian soybeans flood Chinese markets. The phase one trade agreement involved pledges from Beijing to purchase $36.5 billion in U.S. agriculture products in 2020 – roughly two-thirds of which would likely be soybeans – but China has only purchased $3 billion so far this year, putting U.S. farmers in a bind as planting season begins. FT