Markets Rocket Higher Following President’s Declaration……

U.S. equities ended the final trading session of the week on a positive note, finishing solidly higher after suffering the worst day since the October 1987 crash yesterday that ended the long-standing bull market, with the markets perusing a slew of global monetary policy responses out of the U.S., Europe, the U.K., Japan, China and Australia. Also, President Trump declared a national emergency as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, unlocking funds and initiatives at the federal and state levels to help in the combat against the virus, and to potentially ease some of the economic stress. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin vowed that liquidity will be available, and reports are suggesting U.S. lawmakers are close to responding with additional aid. However, the uncertainty remains extremely high regarding the impact of the pandemic, exacerbated by the coinciding oil crisis and subsequent strain in the Treasury markets that the Fed is combating. Treasury yields were higher and crude oil gained modest ground, while the U.S. dollar added to yesterday’s rally, and gold tumbled. In economic news, consumer sentiment fell by a smaller amount than expected, and import prices declined. On the equity front, Adobe posted mixed quarterly results, Oracle topped earnings forecasts, and Broadcom missed on its revenues, while Dow member Walt Disney and Comcast both announced key theme park closures in Southern California. Europe finished with modest gains, while markets in Asia were mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 1,985 points (9.4%) to 23,186, the S&P 500 Index jumped 230 points (9.3%) to 2,711 and the Nasdaq Composite rallied 672 points (9.3%) to 7,874. In heavy volume, 1.9 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 4.6 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil gained $0.23 to $31.73 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was flat at $0.90 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price sank $55.40 to $1,520.75 per ounce, while the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—rose 1.3% to 98.70. For the week, the Dow was down 10.4%, the S&P fell 8.8% and the NASDAQ declined 8.2%.

Treasuries gave back some of a recent rally, as the yield on the 2-year note rose 1 basis point (bp) to 0.51%, the yield on the 10-year note increased 14 bps to 0.99%, and the 30-year bond rate was up 18 bps to 1.59%.

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