Financial markets and the global economy have been quite turbulent this month due to coronavirus outbreak concerns. However, after experiencing massive losses and turbulent times last week, US financial markets are actually on the rise after a particularly volatile week.
As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country and through the rest of the world, the economy will continue to experience ups and downs. Massive corporations are cutting jobs by the thousands and the effects of this will be felt well into the next year. However, it’s not all bad.
Here’s what happened this week in the world of finance all around the world.
Stock Market Opened Friday With a Jump
After weeks of volatility following massive outbreaks of COVID-19 in China, Italy and the United States, US financial markets opened on Friday, March 20th slightly higher than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw an opening jump of approximately 300 points or about 1.5%. The S&P 500 similarly saw an opening rise of just over 1%.
The Nasdaq spiked more than 2% at the opening of markets on Friday as well. However, this might not carry over into the close of Friday’s markets. Investor’s Business Daily noted that even if the Dow manages to close higher for a second straight session at the close of today, it's on track for a 13% weekly loss in general.
Certain Companies Winning Stock Exchange
While stocks for airlines continue to plummet, certain companies are seeing small gains due to coronavirus concerns. McDonald's, Intel and Nike are all up about 4% each. At roughly 30% below their 52-week highs, all three stocks still have plenty of repair work ahead.
Apple stock is currently down 6.3% however after having to close down operations in China due to a country-wide lockdown. And, despite continuing to operate and serve millions of customers all over the country, Amazon stock is down nearly 2%. Supply chain woes might be to blame for Apple stock prices and Amazon is looking to buy up Fairway stores to combat their losses.
Bitcoin Price Recovery
Bitcoin news is one of the most positive pieces of financial news you’ll hear this week. On Friday, March 20th, the top cryptocurrency by market value jumped to an eight-day high of $6,943, according to reports released by CoinDesk.
This is incredibly positive for cryptocurrency investors as bitcoin value saw a 46% drop in the four weeks leading up to March 13th. Currently, the bitcoin price in USD is valued at 1 to just over $6,054.
Enhanced bitcoin value seems to be here to stay. Richard Rosenblum, co-head of trading at crypto liquidity provider GSR, told CoinDesk, "We’re going to be in a period of zero rates for a long time. We could see bitcoin act as a global inflation hedge due to many aggressive stimulus packages being implemented.”
Lawmakers Approve Stimulus Packages
Amidst such financial uncertainty, lawmakers in the United States voted to approve a $1 trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus package this week. This comes after reports showed that as many as 18% of Americans have lost their jobs since coronavirus began to plague the world.
The stimulus package would help to ease the financial burden on the workers and would send $1,200 checks to Americans making up to $75,000 per year. And, while this isn’t a long-term fix, it is a welcome short-term solution that will provide millions of families with a bit of a grace period as they struggle to find a “new normal.”
Exchange Rates Fluctuate As Governments Stabilize Economies
On Tuesday of this week, the pound to euro exchange rate hit a six-month low on Tuesday as coronavirus affects more than just local economies. News of poor exchange rates came after reports that the UK government planned to unveil a stimulus package to stabilize their economy.
As governments struggle to prevent widespread pandemonium, protect their citizens and ensure that the entire global economy doesn’t completely crash, they continue to introduce stimulus packages. These are necessary, but undoubtedly have an effect on exchange rates.
All of this affects developing countries with already poor economies and a weak currency. As oil prices continue to drop, oil-producing countries such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia who depend on it as an export continue to feel the effects. This week alone, light crude oil dropped down to 60% so far this year. On Wednesday, US oil prices dropped 24% to $20.37 a barrel.
Enhancing Savings During A Pandemic
It can be hard to look at the positives during a time like the one in which we’re currently living. With so many uncertainties, it’s best to take a step back and assess the things you can control, such as your family’s health, well-being and financial security.
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