Weekly Economic Update – April 20, 2020

In this week’s recap: The White House makes plans to reopen the economy, as analysts examine the first-hard economic data reckoning the U.S. reaction to COVID-19.

THE WEEK ON WALL STREET

Stock prices pushed higher last week as news of a White House plan to reopen the economy and reports of a potential COVID-19 treatment helped the market overcome weak economic data and an ugly start to the corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.21%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 3.04%. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6.09% for the week. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 1.75%.1,2,3

Reality Hits

Until last week, the extent of the economic damage from COVID-19 lacked a lot of hard data. With the release of retail sales (down 8.7% for March), industrial production (down 5.4% in March), and new jobless claims of 5.2 million (bringing the four-week total to 22 million), the scope of economic trouble became clearer.4,5,6

Stocks wavered throughout the week as investors digested the economic data and balanced the reports against signs that the pandemic may have peaked. With news of a plan to restart the economy and promising test results of a COVID-19 treatment, market sentiment turned positive, sending stocks higher on the final day of trading and cementing the second consecutive week of gains.

Corporate Earnings

Large banks kicked off the quarterly earnings season, reporting declines in profits as they hiked loan loss reserves and saw a contraction in consumer credit card use. The large loan loss reserves represent a sobering view on just how much the banks believe small businesses and consumers may be affected by the economic downturn.

Final Thought

With bank earnings reports, investors got an important – but limited – view of the state of the economy. This week’s earnings reports are expected to provide a much broader cross-section of the economy, with a number of consumer products, technology, industrial, transportation, and communication services companies reporting.

TIP OF THE WEEK

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THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: Existing Home Sales.
Thursday: New Home Sales. Jobless Claims.
Friday: Durable Goods Orders. Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Econoday, April 17, 2020

The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

Monday: IBM (IBM), Halliburton (HAL)
Tuesday: Netflix (NFLX), Procter & Gamble (PG), Coca-Cola (KO), United Airlines (UA)
Wednesday: Facebook (FB), AT&T (T), Boeing (BA), Tesla (TSLA), Visa (V)
Thursday: Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), Starbucks (SBUX), 3M Company (MMM), Southwest Airlines (LUV)
Friday: Verizon (VZ), American Airlines (AAL), American Express (AXP)

Source: Zacks, April 17, 2020

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“In a society of super-sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners.” – ERMA BOMBECK

THE WEEKLY RIDDLE

Can you name a sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the winner until the match ends?

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE:

Can you name a vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh?

ANSWER:

Lettuce.

 

Greg R. Solis, AIF®
President and CEO

Bob Medler, CRPC®, CMFC®, AIF®
Wealth Advisor / Investment Analyst

Tiffany Valentine, CFP®
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
Vice President | Director of Financial Planning

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020.
2 – The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020.
3 – The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020.
4 – The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2020.
5 – MarketWatch, April 15, 2020.
6 – The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2020.

CHART CITATIONS:

The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020.
The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020.
Treasury.gov, April 17, 2020.