The Week In Review


The major averages closed higher to finish a roller coaster week thanks to oil prices clawing back from historic losses earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 260 points higher, or 1.1%, at 23,775. The S&P 500 gained 1.4% to close at 2,836 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.7% to 8,634. Tech was the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 today, gaining 2.1% as Apple climbed over 2% as their CEO told President Trump he expects a V shape recovery.

For the week, however, the Dow fell 1.9% while the S&P 500 dropped over 1%. The Nasdaq was down 0.2% week to date. It was Wall Street's first weekly decline in three.

U.S. crude futures rose 2.7% to settle at $16.94 per barrel amid hopes the U.S. will reduce some of its production to account for shrinking demand and storage capacity. West Texas Intermediate fell over 30% for the week.

Beside the price of oil, Gilead Science was in the spotlight as their potential coronavirus treatment reported initially positive data and then negative data out of China. The U.S. government is leading a new trial on remdesivir which could report preliminary numbers as soon as mid-May.

The coronavirus outbreak has dominated market sentiment for most of 2020 as investors grapple with its economic consequences.

More than 2.7 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., over 800,000 cases have been confirmed. However, a decline in new daily cases has boosted equities from their lows reached on March 23.

The major averages have rallied more than 25% since late March, with the S&P 500 retracing about half of its downside move from the all-time high set Feb. 19.

On the earnings front, Dow components Intel, Verizon and American Express rose today on mixed earnings. Facebook rose 2.7% after announcing the launch of Messenger Rooms, a competing service to Zoom Video. Zoom finished the day down 6.1%.

U.S. Treasuries ended the session with modest gains, pushing yields slightly lower. The 2-yr yield and 10-yr yield both declined two basis points each to 0.20% and 0.60%, respectively. The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.2% to 100.24. On a related note, the Fed will reduce its Treasury purchases to $10 billion/day next week from $15 billion/day this week.

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