Tuesday, September 29, 2020

U.S. stocks retreat while West Texas oil crashes

Apr 21. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Vildana Hajric · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS 

U.S. stocks fell from a six-week high, with investors on edge as oil futures plunged to unprecedented levels and a spate of corporate earnings on tap.

The S&P 500 halted a two-day gain and the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 2%. Chevron and Exxon led losses in the blue-chip index as West Texas oil futures expiring Tuesday turned negative for the first time, primarily because the end of the May contract forces physical receipt at a time when storage capacity is low. June prices fell below $22 a barrel.

"If there is one thing that's certain about oil -- it's very unpredictable, especially because prices are really dictated in the futures markets," said Rick Swope, senior director of investor education at E*Trade Financial. "When it comes to oil, expectations often determine reality."

After the close of trading, IBM Corp. reported a drop in first-quarter revenue and pulled its profit forecast for the year. Meanwhile, Congress continued to negotiate a fresh spending bill to offset the pandemic's effects, and signs have emerged that New York is past the worst of its outbreak.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged higher. Shares retreated across much of Asia, though the benchmark in Shanghai rose. European bonds dropped as Treasurys advanced.

Investors start the week weighing both the oil crash and signs that Congress is close to a fresh spending package. The pace of earnings season is about to pick up, with almost one-fifth of S&P 500 companies reporting this week. Coca-Cola Co. and Netflix Inc. are among the other companies due to report in the coming days.

"It's going to take some time for us to come back and there's no guarantee we'll come back without a resurgence," said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust, in Santa Ana, California, which is managing $1.8 billion.

Governments and policymakers are continuing attempts to limit the economic damage of the pandemic. U.S. lawmakers are moving closer to a deal to top up funds for small businesses, China pledged more stimulus as banks lowered borrowing costs and European officials are discussing creating a bad bank for the region, according to the Financial Times.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell 1.8% to 2,822.89 as of 4 EDT.

The Dow Jones industrial average decreased 2.5% to 23,646.60, the biggest dip in almost three weeks.

The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 1% to 8,560.73.

The MSCI All-Country World Index declined 1.2% to 474.74.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4% to 1,254.60.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.2% to 107.79 per dollar.

The euro dipped 0.2% to $1.0856.

The British pound decreased 0.5% to $1.2432, the weakest in more than a week.

Bonds

The yield on two-year Treasurys dipped less than one basis point to 0.20%.

The yield on 10-year Treasurys fell three basis points to 0.62%, the lowest in more than two weeks.

Britain's 10-year yield climbed three basis points to 0.337%.

Germany's 10-year yield increased two basis points to -0.45%, the biggest climb in almost two weeks.

Commodities

Gold strengthened 0.8% to $1,696.35 an ounce, the largest rise in a week.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 275.9% to $-32.14 a barrel, reaching the lowest on record with its seventh consecutive decline and the biggest fall on record.

 

 

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