All European and US stock indexes are still resilient to the pressure of disappointing news pretending that a lot of economic effects caused by the pandemic could be priced in already. The American S&P500 Futures that moved down to the 2450-2475 area in early Asia hours of Tuesday morning considering the extension of social isolation regimes in the United States at the federal level until April 30, were totally absorbed afterwards. The futures were testing the 2640 local resistance level near last Friday's highs, trying to keep or even to extend gains during today's European afternoon.
Frankly speaking, the trading week started with not the most encouraging news flow.
Following in the footsteps of the majority of European governments, which one after another extend the terms of quarantine measures, including the pre-announced extension of self-isolation in Germany until the end of April, U.S. President Donald Trump also accepted the need to prolong the quarantine measures in the U.S. through to April 30.
Friday dampened the gains of the whole week. Fears surrounding the coronavirus returned to haunt the markets and the falls in the stock exchanges happened again.
In the American stock market, it was possible to observe a fall in the main exchanges with the Dow Jones falling by 4.06%, the S&P 500 devaluing by 3.37% and the Nasdaq decreasing by 3.79%. The European benchmark index - Stoxx 600 - fell by 3.3% on Friday.
In the debt market, the day was relatively mixed and the main yields ended up closing the day, thus reflecting a greater demand for this type of safer assets.
Yesterday the attention of many traders was focused on the market's consensus reaction to the US Initial Jobless Claims statistics that measures the temperature of the economy, which has been poisoned by both the virus and the quarantine. The intrigue was further fuelled by the fact that before last Thursday, March 19, President Donald Trump directly asked statistical agencies to skip the publication of the jobs report, apparently just not to scare breathless markets.
Yesterday was marked by an aversion to risk earlier in the day, which ended up reversing itself. The approval of the budget package was stronger than the huge increase in the number of applications for unemployment benefits in the United States. Also, on the European side, the ECB's decision to stop applying the 33% self-limit to the purchase of government bonds was welcomed by investors.
On the European side, it was possible to observe the Stoxx 600 appreciating 2.55% while on the American side the Dow Jones grew 6.38%, the S&P 500 rose 6.24% and the Nasdaq also closed in green with 5.
Yesterday the prevailing feeling was once again one of an appetite for risk. Driven by the actions of central banks and governments, it was possible to observe the main stock exchanges closing the day in the green.
In particular, the European benchmark index - Stoxx 600 - appreciated by 3.09%. In the United States, the Dow Jones rose by 2.39% while the S&P500 appreciated by 1.15 % and the Nasdaq depreciated by 0.45%.
In the debt market, despite the appetite for risk, there was also an increase in demand and yields ended up falling.
The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo said that recent projections show the economic downturn and job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be worse than the 2008 recession. "This pandemic will inevitably have an enormous impact on the economy..." he said in a video message filmed from his home and posted on the WTO website.
The analogy of what is going on now and back in 2008 are forcing oneself in. With the completely different origins and circumstances of the two financial disasters, the economic symptoms are quite comparable.
An adventure is always unexpected. Sometimes I entertain the notion that I am like a wizard with staff that travelled the half-length and half-breadth of the world and who has seen more than enough fireworks that one could hardly imagine.
But to be honest, even when I manage to make quite reasonable conclusions, from time to time, during the kaleidoscopic changes scratching through the signs of the vigorous asset prices ups and downs, the uncertainties still buzz. An endless minefield with plenty of mistakes to be made by all of us, not excluding myself.
Last week I wrote about how these measures of monetary and fiscal expansion would perhaps be nothing more than survival actions with little added value and economic stimulus. On the demand side, people now have a less active life and with the uncertainty about the future they end up consuming less; while on the supply side, regardless of how low interest rates really are, companies with solvency problems or lack of liquidity would probably always go into debt in order to pay salaries.
There is, however, a better way to possibly mitigate the negative effects of these measures.
Yesterday was marked by strong increases in stock indexes. The sentiment was of a clear appetite for risk and was finally motivated by the stimulus measures that have been implemented by various governments and central banks.
In particular, the Stoxx 600 - the European benchmark index - appreciated 8.4%. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Dow Jones had a strong increase of 11.37% while the S&P 500 grew 9.38% and the Nasdaq rose 8.12%.
In the debt market, yields rose in light of the risk appetite experienced in the markets.