Daily Comment (March 31, 2020)

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

[Posted: 9:30 AM EDT]

As March draws to a close today, we’re reminded of the old adage about the month: in like a lion, out like a lamb.  After what we’ve all gone through during the last month, we certainly hope for a day that’s as quiet and gentle as a lamb!  As always, we review all the key news on the coronavirus epidemic and related, market-relevant items.

COVID-19:  Official data show confirmed cases have risen to 801,400 worldwide, with 38,743 deaths and 172,657 recoveries.  In the United States, confirmed cases rose to 164,610, with 3,170 deaths and 5,945 recoveries (though the recovery data is lagging).  Here is the latest chart of infections from the Financial Times:

Global Oil Market:  Two major shale producers in the Permian Basin have asked Texas regulators to consider curtailing crude output in the state as the industry grapples with collapsing demand and plunging prices.  Meanwhile, poorer oil producers such as Iraq and Venezuela are being forced to consider steep budget cuts as low oil prices cut deeply into their revenues.

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