Stocks give up gains. After the 11th 3% gain of 2020 for the S&P 500, stocks opened lower this morning. Negative sessions in Asia and Europe weighed on sentiment. Morning headlines included President Trump suspending funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), while Washington continues to examine reopening the country amid efforts to relax social-distancing guidelines. Europe continued to slowly come back, with Austria and Italy reopening small shops.
What a 15-day run. The S&P 500 is up more than 27% over the past 15 trading days, for the best 15-day rally since May 1933. Of course, this comes on the heels of the fastest bear market (20% correction) and fastest 30% correction in market history. To put things in perspective, yesterday was the 23rd 3% move (up or down) for the S&P 500 in 2020, tying for the most since we had 23 in 2009. The most since WWII was 42 in 2008.
Retail sales. March retail sales were reported this morning and showed an 8.7% month-over-month decline, the largest decline ever. While the 8.7% decline was slightly better than consensus expectations for -8%, sales (excluding autos and gas) came in at -3.1%, slightly better than the -5.2% expectation.
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