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US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Fall Led Down by Utilities, Energy Bucks the Trend

Stocks drop 14% for the week
David Becker

US stocks moved lower on Friday, as crude oil tumbled 20% dragging down energy shares. US yields moved lower across the curve following news that jobless claims were surging. The Trump administration sent out an email to state governments asking them not to release data about jobless claims until the news was released weekly by the US government. This comes as California said that its normal daily claims request jumped from 2K to 80K in the latter part of this week. There are some economist that believe that jobless claims could surge to more than 2 million, leading to more significant economic relief packages. This weighed on US yields. The VIX volatility index moved lower but rallied into the close at the S&P 500 sold off. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were lower, led

Caught Offsides

During a quick downturn, there are bound to be several companies that are caught offsides and eventually default. On Friday it appears that one of the CME Group’s direct clearing firms was unable to meet its capital requirements. The move forced the exchange to step in and invoke its emergency protocols to auction off the portfolios. Ronin Capital, based in Chicago, was confirmed to be the firm that was unable to get the capital to hold on to their positions. It appears that Ronin’s problems stemmed from positions in futures tied to the CBOE Volatility Index.

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Finger Pointing Accelerates

While President Trump continues to point fingers at the Chinese calling the coronavirus the Chinese virus, there are those who are now pointing fingers at the administration trying to determine why not enough equipment was made available for states in need.

A U.S. senator from Washington requested an investigation into the federal government’s failure to deliver badly needed tests that detect the new virus. In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, Senators asked the watchdog to investigate the federal health department’s efforts to develop, deploy, and analyze diagnostic tests for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

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