Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 2nd

Stocks posted their second week of declines driven by weak economic news and disappointing corporate earnings. The S&P 500 edged down 0.2%, while the Dow dipped 0.3% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US ticked up 0.1% for the week.  Oil prices rebounded over a volatile week as demand is expected to rise with easing of lockdowns and cuts in supply.  Oil rose 17% for the week to $19.78 a barrel.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose over the week to finish at 0.65%.

Several countries including some US states said they would start loosening lock down restrictions in the coming weeks adding to hopes of the start of an economic recovery.

The Bank of Japan said it would nearly triple its holdings of corporate debt to help support the Japanese economy.

Industrial companies profits in China were down 35% in March from a year earlier, but it was a slight improvement over the January-February time frame.

The US economy shrank at the fastest pace since the Financial Crisis in the first quarter.  GDP fell 4.8%, more than projected.  The Eurozone posted its largest quarterly decline in GDP ever falling 14.4%.

The Fed stated after their most recent meeting it will use “its full range of tools to support the US economy in this challenging time.” They also called on the federal government to take on additional stimulus actions.

The ECB announced it would buy $820 billion of European government bonds after its meeting.

Consumer spending fell 7.5% in in March, the largest monthly decline since records began in 1959.

Weekly jobless claims in the US were 3.8 million bringing the total number of claims since mid-March to more than 30 million.

US manufacturing fell in April at the largest clip since the Financial Crisis.

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