On April 20, 2020, the price of a futures contract for West Texas Intermediate crude — the benchmark for U.S. oil prices — fell below zero for the first time in history, dropping more than 306% in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and ending the day at -$37.63 per barrel.1 Essentially, this meant that investors who would soon be obligated to take possession of a barrel of oil were willing to pay someone else to take it instead.
Investors continue to move toward stocks despite unfavorable economic data. New scientific and medical developments in the battle against COVID-19 offer hope. Last Monday saw stocks rebound from losses earlier in the day to close on a high note. Surging oil prices gave a boost to energy shares, which helped drive the market higher. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here closed Monday in the black.
April began on a sour note for stocks as each of the indexes listed here lost value. Economic reports reflected the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were more than 700,000 jobs lost in March while total claims for unemployment insurance benefits soared to nearly 18 million. A cut in production didn’t prevent crude oil prices from hitting negative numbers as demand waned and storage neared full capacity. Purchasing managers saw manufacturing hit lows not seen in more than ten years.
Markets were mixed on the week, as the large- cap U.S. market indices snapped their two-week winning streak and ended lower while the smaller- caps ended higher
Besides the ever-present COVID-19 concerns, the week was dominated by the negative price of oil, a busy corporate earnings week and stimulus3.5 from the federal government
The DJIA dropped 1.9% on the week, followed closely behind by the S&P 500’s 1.3% loss, NASDAQ’s small 0.2% decline and the smaller- cap Russell 2000’s 0.3% gain
On Monday, the price of a barrel of WTI crude to be delivered in May settled at -$37.60 per barrel, the first time in history that it has closed in negative territory
As the week progressed, WTI crude futures rallied, with the June WTI contract ultimately ending the week north of $17/barrel
Despite the extreme volatility in oil, the Energy sector was the only S&P 500 sector to see gains, as it jumped 1.7% on the week
The Real Estate (-4.4%) and Utilities (-3.8%) sectors fared the worst on the week
Weekly initial claims for the week ending April 18 decreased by 810,000 to 4.4 million
Last week did not start off well in the market. However, stocks rebounded on Friday, recouping much of the value lost earlier in the week. Nevertheless, stocks ended last week relatively flat.
In the final quarter of 2018, interest rate and growth fears, along with geopolitical events, sparked volatility in the financial markets and reversed many of the outsize stock gains notched earlier in the year.
Despite a week that included yet more tariff trepidations and negative headlines on the political front, investors celebrated last Friday as several indexes hit new highs.
The Markets (as of market close July 20, 2018) Last week stocks held their own for the most part, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting marginal gains. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell slightly, while the small caps of the Russell
The Markets (as of market close June 29, 2018) The second quarter of the year can be called a lot of things, but boring isn’t one of them. The potential for a trade war between the United States and China
Boosted by higher oil shares and rebounding tech stocks, the benchmark indexes advanced markedly for the first time in several weeks. Gains were enough to push each of the indexes into the black year-to-date, led by the Nasdaq and the