US Stock Markets Ended April 17, 2020

Stock gained during another volatile week after President Trump announced a plan to reopen states and new treatments to fight the coronavirus showed promise. Patients are responding well to a drug developed by Gilead Sciences with patients "seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms." The flattening of the curve and new treatments were balanced by rapidly deteriorating economic activity. Retail sales fell by 8.7% in March and initial jobless claims crossed 5 million for the week, bringing the combined total of lost jobs to over 22 million. With investors flocking to safety, work-from-home exposed stocks and big technology once again paced the market. The NASDAQ 100 Index surged 7.2%, led by a 16.3% gain from Inc. The six major money center banks kicked-off earnings season. JP Morgan Chase & Co. set aside over $8 billion for loan loss provisions, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had large write-downs in its investment portfolio. While a flagging consumer and falling risk-assets led to losses, trading revenues were a bright spot as market volatility led in increased trading volumes across fixed-income and equities. Morgan Stanley's earnings fell by 30%, while Wells Fargo's profitability fell by 89% with the other four money center banks somewhere in between. The financial system remains on stronger footing than during the global financial crisis with America's largest banks providing funding to corporations, small businesses and help to individuals in need. Over the next few weeks many of the largest corporations will report results. Investors will be focused on the prospects of businesses during the next few quarters and the liquidity of firms that are not on as solid of footing.
Posted on Monday, April 20, 2020 @ 8:42 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.