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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended March 6, 2020
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Equities gyrated between gains and losses before ultimately closing higher for the week. Despite an emergency Fed rate cut of 50 basis point and Joe Biden's strong showing on Super Tuesday, the coronavirus continues to dominate stock market moves. Investors fear global growth will be slowed or turn negative due to the virus as businesses cancel trips and pull back on spending. While the effect of the virus has yet to have a material impact on a number of economic indicators, many gauges still point to strong fundamentals in the economy. Job growth remains strong with 273,000 jobs created in February and an unemployment rate of 3.5%, matching a 50-year low. In addition, the service sector continued to shine with the ISM Non-Manufacturing index posting a reading of 57.3. In stock news, travel stocks were especially hard hit with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and other cruise operators declining sharply after the U.S. might find ways to discourage travel on cruise ships amid another cruise ship being held offshore on virus concerns. Southwest Airlines Co. declined after announcing a drop in bookings will hurt first-quarter revenue. Energy and financials were the worst two sectors as falling travel demand hurt oil prices and a 10-year treasury below 1% will likely reduce net interest margins for banks. In the short-term, markets are completely captivated by news around the coronavirus. While the effects of the virus are unknown, newly issued fiscal and monetary stimulus across the globe will likely outlast the virus and provide a potential catalyst.
Posted on Monday, March 9, 2020 @ 8:16 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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