Economic Update

Market Week: May 26, 2020

The Markets (as of market close May 22, 2020)
The major benchmarks opened the week on a high note, led by the Russell 2000, which gained more than
6.0%. The large caps of the Dow (3.85%) and S&P 500 (3.15%) posted notable gains, as did the Global
Dow (3.67%). The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed nearly 2.5%. Investors were buoyed by positive COVID-19
news. Data showed new cases of the virus were growing at the slowest rate in months. Monday morning,
biotech company Moderna reported encouraging results from human testing of a vaccine. This followed
Sunday night’s remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that more monetary stimulus may be
on the way.

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Market Week: May 18, 2020

The Markets (as of market close May 8, 2020)

Stocks opened the week with mixed returns. The S&P 500 stayed level, the Dow fell by almost half a point, and the Nasdaq finished the day up three-quarters of a percent. Crude oil prices dropped by nearly one percent. Positive news came from New York last Monday as Governor Cuomo indicated some businesses would be able to reopen on a regional basis, as the state reported the lowest number of COVID-19-related
deaths since March.

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Market Week: May 11, 2020

The Markets (as of market close May 8, 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.

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Market Week: May 4, 2020

The Markets (as of market close May 1, 2020)

Investors were guardedly optimistic last Monday as several countries and some states began to reopen their economies. The Russell 2000 jumped by nearly 4.0%, while the remaining indexes listed here all grabbed positive gains of at least 1.1%.

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Market Month: April 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.

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Market Week: April 27, 2020

The Markets (as of market close April 24, 2020)

The week started with stock indexes falling sharply on the heels of an historic plunge of crude oil into negative territory. The Dow dropped nearly 600 points and more than 2.4% by Monday’s close. Minimal demand sent the prices for crude oil (CL=F) to -22.02 per barrel — down 222.06%.

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Market Week: April 20, 2020

The Markets (as of market close April 17, 2020)

Last weekend, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other major oil-producing countries agreed to slash production as oil prices had fallen about 50% from their January peak. Lack of demand, primarily due to COVID-19, has sent oil prices tumbling. The stock market started out slowly on Monday but picked up some steam to pare losses. Of the major benchmark indexes listed here, only the Nasdaq closed the day up. Investors seemed to worry about what the pandemic would do to corporate earnings and shunned stocks for other investments, such as gold, which rose to its highest price in more than seven years.

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Market Week: April 13, 2020

The Markets (as of market close April 9, 2020)

In observance of Good Friday, the stock market closed for business at the final bell last Thursday. The week started out with a bang as stocks soared in value on Monday with each of the benchmark indexes posting sizable gains. Investors were buoyed by the latest data, which showed that the spread of COVID-19 may be slowing in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq enjoyed the largest single-day gains since March 24. Unfortunately, the gains were given back on Tuesday as investors wondered whether the virus was actually slowing. Oil prices sank and bond prices dropped, pushing yields higher.

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Market Week: April 6, 2020

The Markets (as of market close April 3, 2020)

Stocks continued to rally at the beginning of last week amid hopes of enhanced testing for COVID-19. But by the end of the day Wednesday stocks slid, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting their largest single-day declines since March 18. Energy shares in particular were hit hard. The Dow fell 4.4% and the small caps of the Russell 2000 continued to collapse, dropping over 7.0% on Wednesday. Economically, the virus is overwhelming the job market, as the number of unemployment insurance claims broke records for the second consecutive week.

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Quarterly Market Review: January-March 2020

The Markets (first quarter through March 31, 2020)

The world’s economies and stock markets have been rocked by the spread of COVID-19. Investors’ fears prompted a major sell-off in February and March, plunging stocks well below their 2019 closing marks. Nevertheless, 2020 started off in a positive way. Following a strong 2019, stocks were slow to move forward as investors cashed in some of their 2019 gains. But by mid-January, each of the benchmark indexes were safely ahead of their 2019 closing marks. However, concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak in China quelled investor optimism. By the end of January, only the small caps of the Nasdaq remained ahead of their prior year’s pace, as each of the remaining indexes listed here fell into the red.

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