US Stock Markets Ended March 20, 2020
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Stocks roared and whimpered throughout the week as the S&P posted two historic moves not seen since 2008. Friday's 9% rally into the end of the day eclipsed a record set in October 2008. One day earlier, the S&P 500 had its biggest down day since 2008 after dropping over 9%. The markets had been waiting on a policy with a defined direction and magnitude. Those announcements came on Friday with the President declaring a national emergency and congress almost simultaneously announcing a bill to stem the epidemic. Earlier in the week the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, causing President Trump to address the nation and restrict travel from European nations. The Energy sector was the worst-performing group last week after crude fell over 19%. Oil and natural gas driller Apache Corp sold off to end the week 60% lower. Cruise line operators Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Carnival Corp also felt the impact of the virus outbreak with the group of companies among the worst performers in the S&P 500. To support the credit markets, the Federal Reserve announced on Thursday it would inject $1.5 trillion dollars to combat "highly unusual disruptions". Economic repercussions are yet to be realized in the United States as the potential slowdown is met with government capital infusions and payment deferrals. Next week we will look at the growth of new COVID-19 cases and the policies designed to identify and quell the outbreak as the main market-moving events.
Posted on Monday, March 23, 2020 @ 8:24 AM

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.