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Dow Climbs in the Face of 6.6M Jobless Claims

Dow Climbs in the Face of 6.6M Jobless Claims

For the second week in a row, Wall Street didn't react quite the way you'd expect it to in the face of downright grim American employment data. The Labor Department reported on Thursday a record 6.6 million unemployment-benefits claims for the week ended March 28 -- doubling the previous record of 3.3 million claims set the week before. Still, the Dow finished with a 2.2% gain to 21,413. The day's most volatile sector was energy, thanks to President Donald Trump tweeting that, after a conversation with Saudi Arabia's crown prince, he expects the OPEC nation and Russia to cut oil production by 10 million barrels daily. It sent U.S. crude prices spiking 24.7% to $25.32 per barrel. While a Russian spokesperson denied any such agreement, the energy sector finished 9.2% higher thanks to big gains in Chevron (CVX, +11.0%) and Exxon Mobil (XOM, +7.7%).

Thursday is all the evidence you need that the stock market and the economy don't always see eye-to-eye. The Dow's gains also came on a day when Bank of America analysts forecast the "deepest recession on record," expecting a total 10.4% decline in GDP that would be "nearly five times more severe than the post-war average." Regardless, the "smart money" continues to see pockets of opportunity in this market. We've previously highlighted more than two dozen dividend stocks that Wall Street's experts are bullish on, and we've also pointed out that analyst upgrades in the midst of a bear market are a noteworthy signal. But there's another type of "pro" worth watching: corporate insiders. Chief executives, vice presidents, directors -- all of these insiders are allowed to buy and sell their own stock (if they follow a number of rules). And when they start buying up stock in the midst of a selloff, well, you might want to hitch a ride. Read on, then, as we highlight seven stocks that have received a vote of confidence from the people who should know their companies the best: corporate insiders who run the show.

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