Daily Comment (April 2, 2020)

by Bill O’Grady, Thomas Wash, and Patrick Fearon-Hernandez, CFA

[Posted: 9:30 AM EDT]

Good morning!  After a drubbing yesterday, we are seeing a rebound in global markets this morning.  One of the factors helping sentiment is a 10% jump in crude oil prices.  The White House is continuing to talk to Russia and the KSA, and the president is meeting with energy executives.  However, Moscow has indicated it won’t change its policy anytime soon.  China announced it is buying oil for its strategic reserves.  Linked here is our updated Weekly Energy Update.  We update all the COVID-19 news, including some charts on what is happening in the economy.  Here are the details:

COVID-19:  The official number of global cases is 951,901 with 48,284 fatalities and 202,342 recoveries.  The FT did not issue an infection chart; we will try to find one for tomorrow.

The virus news:

The policy news:

The economic news:

  • Initial claims jumped to 6.65 million, a new record. We cover the data below.  There has been a surge in layoffs reported recently and the data confirm it.
  • We are seeing a surge in worker revolt. Production workers, delivery drivers, health care workers, warehouse employees, and grocery clerks are starting to push back against what they see are unsafe working conditions.  They have high leverage at this moment.

The market news:

Foreign policy:

Iran:  There are reports that Iran is planning attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq.  The U.S. is warning Tehran against such actions.

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