Daily Comment (March 26, 2020)

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

[Posted: 9:30 AM EST]

The long-awaited initial claims data is out; we offer details below, but claims rose a record 3.28 mm.  After a two-day respite, equities have turned lower.  As we note below, the Senate has passed a $2.0 trillion spending package.  As usual, we update the COVID-19 data.  The Weekly Energy Update is available.  Here are the details:

COVID-19:  The official number of global cases is 487,648 with 22,030 fatalities and 117,749 recoveries.  Although we report on this data each day, readers should note that these numbers are, at best, a mere snapshot.  The number of actual cases is probably far higher.  Here is the usual FT chart:

The virus news:

The policy news:

The economic news:

The market news:

  • Bonds have been a mixed bag. Investment grade is rebounding as the Fed measures improve liquidity.  However, high yield, which lacks similar support, remains strained.  Weekly flows data show a massive “bond dump.”  This chart shows the weekly flows into bond mutual funds and ETFs, showing the raw data with a 12-week moving average.  The chart speaks for itself.

Foreign policy:

Odds and ends:  Turkey has indicted 20 Saudis in connection with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.  There is growing dissention within the right-wing populist AfD in Germany.

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