Stocks surge on signs of COVID-19 stabilization. The S&P 500 Index opened more than 3% higher this morning, erasing all of last week’s losses on some early encouraging signs out of New York City that social distancing may have brought forward a potential peak in the growth rate of new cases. It’s only a day or two, and it’s only one city, but it is progress for the epicenter of the US outbreak. In Europe, more evidence emerged that the worst of their crisis may have passed, driving their markets sharply higher in midday trading. Asian markets closed sharply higher, led by Japan and Australia, while China’s markets are closed for a holiday.
Watching oil. Markets are anticipating an end to the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war, as leaders will meet later this week. Reports indicate the two countries are close to a deal. It is unclear if US shale producers will play any role in stabilizing the energy markets beyond voluntarily pulling back on production due to lower prices. President Trump indicated over the weekend that he was unlikely to impose tariffs on oil imports.
March jobs report. On Friday, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its employment report for March, which showed the first monthly decline in net jobs created in 113 months. We examine the report in further detail today on the LPL Research blog.
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