Too Much Oil with Nowhere to Go

Too Much Oil with Nowhere to Go

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.

Market Week: May 11, 2020

Market Week: May 11, 2020

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.

The Markets (as of market close April 30, 2020)

The Markets (as of market close April 30, 2020)

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.

Weekly Market Update – April 24, 2020

Weekly Market Update – April 24, 2020

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