What Happened to Oil

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Negative oil prices have dominated headlines recently. A combination of oversupply, lack of demand, and a lack of storage capacity resulted in temporarily negative oil prices, where holders of a futures contract were paying others to take delivery of oil for them. We explore what happened, what it means for the world market, and where oil prices could ultimately be headed.

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A Recession is Here

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The economy has halted for the past several weeks, and with it the longest economic expansion ever has ended, meaning we are now in a recession. What makes this recession unique is the government intentionally brought it on, with the chances for an economic bounce back later this year high if the virus is contained. If this recession becomes one of the shortest on record, as we expect, stocks may enjoy better times ahead, as stocks historically have led the economy out of recessions.

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Is the Earnings Bar Low Enough?

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This earnings season will be unlike any other, as travel restrictions and lockdowns related to COVID-19 have impacted results dramatically.The biggest economic hits came in mid-March, however, and won’t be fully captured in first quarter results. This makes company guidance particularly important as market participants look for clues into what earnings may look like for the rest of the year.

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Market Bottoming Process Continues

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Stock market volatility has remained high as investors continue to closely track COVID-19 containment efforts while getting a glimpse into how damaging travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing have been on the US economy. We continue to watch for signs of a peak in new cases in the United States, which would allow investors to start thinking about a resumption of economic activity and a potentially powerful economic rebound in the second half of this year. In the meantime, stocks may revisit the March lows.

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