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Market Commentary: Coronavirus Takes Toll on Retail, Manufacturing

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Coronavirus Takes Toll on Retail, Manufacturing

The global economy continues to slow rapidly, based on key data released last week. In the U.S., retail sales dropped 16.4% from March to April. Individuals cut back on purchases due to risks from the coronavirus, lockdowns, and declining income from job losses. The drop increases to 21.6% when compared to one year ago. Industrial production showed similar weakness, falling 13.7%. 

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Market Commentary: Only Half of U.S. Population is Classified as Employed

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Only Half of U.S. Population is Classified as Employed

The U.S. jobs report confirmed what was already known: millions of Americans are losing their jobs. The monthly payrolls report estimated a decline of 20.5 million jobs last month. The unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, which is estimated to be the highest since the Great Depression. A broad measure of employment estimates 51.3% of Americans have a job.

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Market Commentary: Drop in GDP Expected to Continue

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Drop in GDP Expected to Continue

Economic news indicated the economic damage from COVID-19 continues to grow. U.S. gross domestic product shrank 4.8% in the face of the coronavirus and social distancing designed to combat its spread. Next quarter, expectations are for a nearly 30% decline. Initial unemployment claims fell to 3.8 million. The number of claims remains high, and the six-week total is more than 30 million.

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Market Commentary: U.S. and Foreign Leaders Moving to Open More Businesses

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: U.S. and Foreign Leaders Moving to Open More Businesses

Leaders around the world announced steps to open up their economies by gradually reducing social distancing as the global economy continued to struggle. In the U.S., more than four million people filed initial claims for unemployment.

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Market Commentary: Investors Optimistic Over Slowing COVID-19 Cases

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Investors Optimistic Over Slowing COVID-19 Cases

Similarly to last week, investors had to weigh progress fighting COVID-19 and what that means for the future against the economic toll the virus and policies designed to slow it are having on the economy.

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Market Commentary: Stocks Rise in Hopes that COVID-19 Slows

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Stocks Rise in Hopes that COVID-19 Slows

Investors were faced with a combination of optimistic and pessimistic news this week and opted to accentuate the positive. Health care data reinforced the gradual success social distancing is having in curtailing the spread of the virus.

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Market Commentary: Unemployment Rises, China’s Recovering Economy

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Unemployment Rises, China’s Recovering Economy

The measures slowing the spread of the coronavirus are dealing severe challenges to the U.S. job market. Social distancing has proven difficult for day cares and dentists, restaurants and retail. As the accompanying chart shows, last week, 6.6 million workers filled for new unemployment benefits.

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Market Commentary: Relief Package Enacted as Unemployment Sharply Rises

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Relief Package Enacted as Unemployment Sharply Rises

Markets look forward and, at least for a week, saw signs government is willing to provide support to get the economy through the coronavirus pandemic. The centerpiece of the steps announced last week was a $2 trillion package designed to keep people employed and support those who have lost their jobs.

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Market Commentary: Government Steps In As Downturn Continues

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Government Steps In As Downturn Continues

The ongoing battle against the coronavirus pushed markets sharply lower last week on concerns the collateral economic damage from social distancing will significantly damage economic growth and corporate profits for extended periods.

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Market Commentary: Fed Cuts Interest Rates to Near Zero

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Fed Cuts Interest Rates to Near Zero

Stocks and bonds continued to be buffeted about by waves of data and policy actions designed to combat the coronavirus and the secondary effects of the virus on individuals, businesses, and markets.

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