(RTTNews) – Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Friday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the two previous sessions. With the continued advanced, the major averages once again ended the session at their best closing levels in over a month.

The major averages all closed firmly positive, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts. While the Nasdaq jumped 158.96 points or 1.4 percent to 11,579.94, the Dow climbed 161.39 points or 0.6 percent to 28,586.90 and the S&P 500 advanced 30.30 points or 0.9 percent to 3,477.13.

For the week, the Nasdaq soared by 4.6 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Dow surged up by 3.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Continued optimism about a new stimulus bill contributed to the strength on Wall Street, as traders kept a close eye on the latest developments in Washington.

The major averages showed a notable move to the upside in late morning trading after President Donald Trump suggested he was once again in favor of a broad relief package.

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump tweeted before later telling Rush Limbaugh he would like to see a bigger stimulus package than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering.

Trump’s comments came amid reports that the White House was planning to offer a $1.8 trillion package, which is up from the administration’s previous $1.6 trillion proposal but still below the $2.2 trillion bill passed by House Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill later said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had “returned to the table with a proposal that attempted to address some of the concerns Democrats have.”

“Of special concern, is the absence of an agreement on a strategic plan to crush the virus,” Hammill tweeted. “For this and other provisions,

Today’s DOL Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims indicates continued improvement in the insured employment situation even though the initial claims remain stubbornly high.

The non-seasonal adjusted initial claims at 804,307 are up by 5,312 when compared to the previous week. However, the non-seasonal adjusted continuous insured unemployed at 10,612,021 have again decreased significantly by 1,010,280 from last week’s reported figures.

Also, the total persons claiming some form of UI benefit as of September 19 are reported by the DOL as 25,505,499, a decrease of 1,003,179 from last week’s figure.

These figures signal a continued improvement to the return to work numbers which could indicate a slight easing of the Covid-19 recession (green line on graph).

The figure below shows that currently the lowest unemployment rate should be 15.9%. And, if one added the historic 2.6% UCR-PCR spread, then the actual unemployment rate should be 18.0%.

In the current Covid-19 situation, we believe that the only meaningful figures from DOL’s weekly report are:

  • The non-seasonal adjusted Insured Unemployed.
  • The total of all persons claiming unemployment benefits in all programs, which includes persons receiving Covid-19 relief who would normally not fall into the insured employed, e.g. self-employed tech workers.

In the figure above we graph the following:

  1. The monthly unemployment rate (UER) as published by the BLS, plotted 2 weeks earlier from the reporting date. (The May UER which is published beginning June is plotted from mid-May to mid-June.
  2. The insured unemployed rate (IUR) is the percentage of insured unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) of the labor force. (The number of insured unemployed is published every Thursday, looking back 2 weeks in the DOL’s weekly Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report. The labor force is published monthly by the BLS with the Employment Situation Summary.)
  3. The unemployed persons claiming rate (PCR) is the percentage

Earlier this month, WiNGS announced Tameka Cass as the organization’s new chief development officer. In January, Kate Rose Marquez became chief executive officer. The 112-year-old nonprofit provides a range critical resources for women in need, including those who are first-time mothers and small business owners. It focuses on vulnerable populations such as communities of color and those with limited English proficiency, single-income households, and women at risk of intimate-partner violence and financial insecurity.

With Cass new to the nonprofit and Marquez nearly nine months into her role — which has held challenges she didn’t bargain for — we asked the women a few questions about the ongoing impact WiNGS has on women in Dallas-Fort Worth, how it’s managed through the pandemic and what 2021 might hold.

FWD>DFW: Tameka, as the new chief development officer, what’s the first big thing you want to accomplish? What do you see as the biggest hurdle to accomplishing that?

TC: The first big thing I want to accomplish is increased awareness of WiNGS and the impact our services provide to women and families, specifically women of color, in our community. The global pandemic exposed the layers of inequities that exist for women and their families. My goal is to focus on ways to address the increased need for support and resources through our fund development strategies. Like many nonprofits, WiNGS has been impacted by the shift in funding from the philanthropic community, as they respond to the growing needs of nonprofits providing critical services to the community.

My biggest hurdle to accomplishing these goals is identifying creative ways to meet the growing needs of the women we serve with so much uncertainty about the future.

FWD>DFW: Give us a specific example of a woman whose life has been deeply impacted for the better in 2020.