Here’s your weekly update covering the biggest stories in the business world, all in a 5 minute read.
- Stocks have staged a remarkable recovery, the S&P 500 has recouped 70% of the total losses in the post-February crash, a move that has also pushed the index above its 200-day moving average.
- U.S.-China tensions are expected to rise as President Trump said the U.S. was ending its preferential treatment of Hong Kong. Investors are now watching for a response ahead of Monday morning trading.
- If you run an ETF that bets on the price of oil, and the price of oil goes down, is that securities fraud? The SEC and the CFTC have both opened probes into the $4.64 billion United States Oil Fund (USO) to examine risk disclosures to investors. The fund has lost 75% of its value this year.
- Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, plunged 13.6% in April, the largest drop on record.
- Personal savings rate surged to a record 33% in April (from 12.7% in March) as people held on to cash. Personal incomes increased by 10.5%, which reflects the government stimulus payments.
- New home sales rose 1% in April compared to March. That may not seem like a lot, but they were expected to drop 22%.
- People who get paid to make forecasts say there’s only a 9% chance that there will be a widely available vaccine for Covid-19 before next April.
- Why does the stock market keep going up while employment nosedives? It turns out only one of these is a leading indicator of the economy.
- Is this the end of productivity? What this pandemic shows is that we can stop everything in a moment’s notice. I hope that rather than panic and try to rush back to normalcy, people will reflect on what it is we should leave behind, rather than resume.