First Post-COVID-19 Data Arrives – Weekly Update

April 20, 2020 | By Steven DiGregorio

The Week on Wall Street

Stock prices pushed higher last week as news of a White House plan to reopen the economy and reports of a potential COVID-19 treatment helped the market overcome weak economic data and an ugly start to the corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.21%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 3.04%. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6.09% for the week. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 1.75%. , ,

Reality Hits

Until last week, the extent of the economic damage from COVID-19 lacked a lot of hard data. With the release of retail sales (down 8.7% for March), industrial production (down 5.4% in March), and new jobless claims of 5.2 million (bringing the four-week total to 22 million), the scope of economic trouble became clearer. , ,

Stocks wavered throughout the week as investors digested the economic data and balanced the reports against signs that the pandemic may have peaked. With news of a plan to restart the economy and promising test results of a COVID-19 treatment, market sentiment turned positive, sending stocks higher on the final day of trading and cementing the second consecutive week of gains.

Corporate Earnings

Large banks kicked off the quarterly earnings season, reporting declines in profits as they hiked loan loss reserves and saw a contraction in consumer credit card use. The large loan loss reserves represent a sobering view on just how much the banks believe small businesses and consumers may be affected by the economic downturn.

Final Thought

With bank earnings reports, investors got an important – but limited – view of the state of the economy. This week’s earnings reports are expected to provide a much broader cross-section of the economy, with a number of consumer products, technology, industrial, transportation, and communication services companies reporting.

THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: Existing Home Sales.
Thursday: New Home Sales. Jobless Claims.
Friday: Durable Goods Orders. Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Econoday, April 17, 2020
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: IBM (IBM), Halliburton (HAL)
Tuesday: Netflix (NFLX), Procter & Gamble (PG), Coca-Cola (KO), United Airlines (UA)
Wednesday: Facebook (FB), AT&T (T), Boeing (BA), Tesla (TSLA), Visa (V)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), Starbucks (SBUX), 3M Company (MMM), Southwest Airlines (LUV)
Friday: Verizon (VZ), American Airlines (AAL), American Express (AXP)

 

Source: Zacks, April 17, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

 

 

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STEVEN M DIGREGORIO is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC.
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