- On Friday European stocks ended lower as worries about coronavirus pandemic rose following a report that said the drug remdesivir from Gilead failed in its first randomized clinical trial.
- After a strong start and a subsequent retreat into the red, U.S. stocks kept climbing higher to eventually close on a high note.
- Asian stocks ended broadly lower after analysts warned the global economy will take much longer to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Reported COVID-19 cases around the world approached 3 million, of which more than 205 thousand died, and over 850 thousand recovered. In the US, the epicenter of the disease, the number of infections surpassed 940 thousand, around 32% of cases globally. Across the Atlantic, Spain, the worst-affected European country, registered 226,629 cases, followed by Italy (197,675) and France (161,665). The US is the country with more deaths caused by the virus, (54,265), followed by Italy (26,644) and Spain (23,190).
- The U.S. Treasury Department said it has released $9.5 billion in additional funds from the Payroll Support Program to U.S. air carriers, bringing to $12.4 billion the total provided to the airline sector hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. In total, the government has disbursed grant funds to 10 major airlines and 83 smaller carriers. Congress approved $25 billion in grants for payroll assistance for passenger airlines. Treasury required major airlines receiving more than $100 million in assistance to repay 30% in low-interest loans over 10 years and issue warrants equal to 10% of the loan amount. Airlines must not cut pay or jobs through Sept. 30 as a condition of the grants and are barred from buying back stock or paying dividends and face restrictions on executive compensation.
- WTI crude prices started the week in negative territory, as demand remained subdued in a market overrun by supply. Fuel consumption is down nearly 30% worldwide in April amid global lockdowns and travel bans due to the coronavirus pandemic while oil storage around the world is filling up. Putting a floor under prices were expectations that major oilproducing nations would accelerate planned production cuts to offset the demand collapse. US crude dropped as much as 6% to below $16 a barrel during the Asian trading session.
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