Daily Market Color

OPEC+ Announces Deal to Cut Oil Production


Saudi Arabia and Russia agree to biggest oil production cut in history, ending price war (for now). The historic output cut is more than double of those made during the 2008 financial crisis, but it remains unclear whether the deal will be large enough to offset the COVID-driven demand shock. The price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia had been one of two major risks to global growth that kicked off the breathtaking sell-off in risk assets last month. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, crude prices have fallen nearly 70% lower to $22/barrel- an 18-year low. This morning US crude is trading modestly lower at $22.72/barrel.



Fed adds municipal lending to its list of crisis measures. The central bank announced last week that it would lend up to $500B to local governments in an attempt to offset some of the impact of falling tax revenues. The municipal lending facility joins the host of unprecedented measures the Fed has announced in recent weeks, those measures spanning short-term commercial paper to long term asset-backed securities. Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said in an interview this morning that the Fed is confident that their measures will keep the U.S. out of a deflationary trap- even as 17 million people have filed for unemployment benefits and economists call for a 26.5% decline in GDP during the second quarter.



COVID-19 Update. The US is now the global leader in confirmed COVID-19 fatalities, with more than 557,000 infected and a death toll over 22,000 according to Johns Hopkins University. Though the Trump administration had initially set May 1st as a target for re-opening the US economy, health officials warn this could be a mistake. While officials see social-distancing guidelines flattening the curve, they believe lifting lockdown measures too early could cause the infection rate to spike once again.


Week ahead. Earnings season begins today, and while there is a general consensus that corporate filings will reveal a substantial impact from the pandemic, the degree to which remains highly uncertain . A number of large banks will report this week, including JP Morgan, Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs. Wednesday will bring the latest retail sales figures for the US- economists forecasting a record fall in retail spending. Later this week China will release its latest GDP and industrial production figures.


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