Stocks opened lower amid sharp oil declines. Stocks are struggling to add to last week’s solid gains this morning, with the June crude oil futures contract down nearly 10% and the May contract, which expires Tuesday, down more than 25%. Besides oil, the market’s focus will be on the first big wave of earnings reports, in addition to efforts to combat COVID-19 and to selectively begin the reopening process in some US states as soon as this week.
Lawmakers nearing a deal on another stimulus package. A new stimulus package that focuses on replenishing the small business loan program created by the CARES Act is expected to be passed by Congress this week. It will also include aid for hospitals and funding for COVID-19 testing. The package may exceed $400 billion and will help cushion the blow to the US economy and US workers while helping shore up the healthcare system that remains strained in the COVID-19 hotspots.
Putting the epic rally in perspective. The S&P 500 Index gained 27.2% over the last 15 days ending April 14. This was the best 15-day gain since May 1933. Looking at the previous ten best 15-day periods, the S&P 500 was higher nine of ten times in the following six months, and higher every single time a year later. We will take a closer look at this interesting development later today on the LPL Research blog.
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