Well, that was quite a first quarter 2020. If it’s ok with you, I’d like to just fast forward to 2021. Ok, I guess that isn’t going to happen, so we’ll just have to get through all of this on a day by day basis.
Obviously, stocks were down quite a bit in the first quarter, with energy, airlines, cruise lines, banks and hospitality companies suffering the most. Oil itself was down about 66% for the quarter. Although the bond market did settle down this week, we saw major dislocations in bonds in the quarter, especially in corporate bonds but also in the municipal bond market.
As for today, by the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 410 points to finish the day at 21,917. The S&P 500 was down 42 points to close at 2,584. Gold was down $47 to trade at $1,595 per ounce, while the aforementioned oil was up $.32 to trade at $20.39 per barrel WTI.
As we look into the second quarter, we are going to start to get awful economic data including a few jobs numbers later this week. Also, corporate earnings season will begin soon and that is also likely to be a train wreck. The question is, is the stock market already pricing in all the poor economic and earnings data we are about to see? And, what about the medical data? We are starting to see evidence that social distancing is helping, and we are seeing early evidence that therapeutic drugs may be available sooner than later. Of course a vaccine is a long way off, but those reports are encouraging also.
So, we have quite a mix of things to deal with as we move into the second quarter of 2020. The easy guess here is that we are still likely to see plenty of volatility in the markets in the near future. We’ll continue to keep you informed as this unprecedented situation continues to unfold.
Have a nice evening everyone.