The shortened week before Easter saw markets rally, with the S&P gaining 12%, its biggest jump since 1974. On Thursday alone, it rose 1.45%, with the Dow trailing at 1.22% and the Nasdaq at 0.77%. This despite another 6.6 million Americans filing unemployment claims for the week ending April 4, surpassing the estimated 5 million. Over the past three weeks, 16 million Americans have filed for temporary relief. Are investors blase or looking forward to the post-lockdown recovery? Financials outperformed with JP Morgan rising 9% while consumer brands like Coca-Cola popped 10%. Some travel names continued to gain, most notably American Airlines which climbed 10.41% in heavy volume.
The TSX outperformed Wall Street by rallying 1.73%. MTY Foods was one of the biggest winners Thursday, shooting up nearly 26% as were healthcare names CRH Medical (21.49%) and Bausch Health (14.82%). Gold inched higher, nearing $1,700/ounce, as Osisko Mining jumped 14%, Argonaut Gold rallied 13.59% and materials as a whole rose nearly 7%. In contrast, consumer staples and energy were the laggards. Today’s anticipated OPEC meeting with Russia resulted in a pledge to cut production by 10 million barrels a day, but investors don’t expect that to offset the biggest oil demand slump in history. WCS fell below $4.50 a barrel. Adding to Canadian woes was the news that over 1 million Canadians joined the jobless ranks last week.
As Canada celebrates Easter and Passover with social distancing, markets will take a breather from the recent roller-coaster ride. However, the VIX has plunged 35% since the March 23 trough, pointing to growing market stability ahead.
🏛 JP Morgan Chase & Co +9%
🥤 Coca-Cola Company +10%
🛫 American Airlines Group +10.41%
🍱 MTY Food Group +26%
👨⚕️ CRH Medical Corp. +21.49%
👨⚕️ Bausch Health Cos Inc. +14.82%
🛢 Osisko Mining Inc +14%
🥇 Argonaut Gold +13.59%