U.S. Equity Markets dropped as investors began May pondering profit warnings tied to the Coronavirus and a ratcheting up of tension with China. The US Dollar rose as a risk-off mood prevailed. The S&P 500 Index fell almost 3%, leaving it a tad lower for the week, after sobering comments from Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. about the pandemic’s impact. Exxon Mobil Corp. slumped after posting its first quarterly loss in at least 32 years. The US Dollar posted its first increase since last week. Equities also retreated in the U.K., one of the few open markets in Europe as other countries celebrated May Day, and the Pound gave back some of last week’s gains as Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged a “comprehensive plan” to lift the country’s lockdown, with details due at the end of the week. While the S&P 500 posted its best month since 1987 in April — spurred by a slowdown in Coronavirus infections and $8 trillion in promised stimulus initiatives globally — earnings reports and economic data are serving a reminder of lasting pain. Amazon warned of a possible second-quarter loss, while Apple omitted an earnings forecast for the first time in more than a decade. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan warned of a “severe” contraction from the effects of Coronavirus. Yesterday, U.S. stocks kicked off the week on a positive note, rallying late in the session to close higher after California sounded a note of optimism in its fight against the virus. Crude oil gained for a fourth consecutive day. The S&P 500 ended green after a last-hour push after the state with the biggest economy reported the fewest virus-related deaths in three weeks and signalled some businesses may reopen as soon as Friday. Stocks were lower during much of the session after tensions escalated between the Trump administration and China, and economic data disappointed. Energy, information technology and utilities were the biggest gainers in the S&P 500, led by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. U.S. airlines were hit hard after Warren Buffett said over the weekend that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had exited the sector. Apple Inc. led the Nasdaq Composite Index higher before a big week of earnings. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 slumped, with all 19 industry sectors in the red. West Texas oil futures pushed higher after fluctuating earlier in the day. The US Dollar strengthened against most major peers.
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