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David Becker

US stocks moved higher on Friday, rebounding following the worst day for stocks since 1987. Stocks rose sharply into the close, with the major averages rebounding nearly 10%. US bonds yields moved higher, as riskier assets gained traction. President Trump announced a program that should sharply increase testing. Oil prices rebounded but remain down 23% for the week. Recall, earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia launched an all-out price war with Russia. The Federal Reserve was active this week and started its repo liquidity program. Trump was also clamoring for more action from the Federal Reserve. All sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher led by financials, utilities were the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 index. Oil prices were buoyed which helped drive up energy shares, as President Trump ordered purchases to the strategic petroleum reserve.

Markets Were Calmed By Course of Action

President Trump announced that he will sign a declaration to free up billions in assistance to help respond to the coronavirus outbreak. White House officials have for weeks been discussing a declaration under the 1988 Stafford Act, which would free up billions in Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster funds. The President also announced a public-private partnership that would begin the coronavirus testing process. The President also is instructing the Energy Department to begin purchasing crude oil for the US strategic petroleum reserve. This will help buoy oil prices.


Trump Wants the Fed to Ease

President Trump continues to poke at Fed Chair Jerome Powell. He is demanded that the Federal Reserve lower a key interest rate in response to the coronavirus crisis, a day after the Fed announced it would make up to a massive $1.5 trillion worth of short-term loans to support credit markets and assure liquidity. Unfortunately, lower rates will not get people to go on a cruise or go to a movie, only the decline in coronavirus infections will do this.

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