U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds were trading in a relatively subdued session Friday as investors remained cautious of an economic recovery with some states preparing to roll back coronavirus lockdown orders.
On Friday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 0.8%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) gained 0.3%, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 0.6%.
Investors are hopeful that the government will reverse some of the coronavirus lockdowns as the strict measures to contain the viral outbreak has become increasingly detrimental to the economy, with jobless claims surging and business activity come to a standstill.
“The market has already priced in the economic data that we’re seeing currently,” Brooke May, managing partner at Evans May Wealth, told Reuters. “As states start to re-open and businesses are able to see revenues again – and measures are taken to contain the virus so we don’t see a resurgence – that will be seen as good news.”
Some are worried that if the economic malaise extends, it could lead to profit warnings, dividend cuts, and bankruptcies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“We’re experiencing one of the largest demand shocks since the Great Depression,” Robert McAdie, chief cross-asset strategist at BNP Paribas, told the WSJ.
Analysts still project a 14.8% drop in S&P 500 first-quarter earnings.
Data showed orders on non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending, was up 0.1% last month, compared to economists’ expectations of a 6% falloff.
“This echoes what we saw in the aftermath of the financial crisis just over a decade ago,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, told Reuters. “This time, however, with the global travel industry likely to remain depressed by the pandemic for years to come, the outlook for aircraft manufacturers like Boeing is even more grim.”
Meanwhile, aggressive stimulus packages approved by Congress and the Federal Reserve could help bolster the economy and ease the recovery process. President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation Friday extending more financial aid to small businesses and hospitals under the new $484 billion bill.
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