Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for April 9

Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for April 9  | Apr 08, 2020 18:09

Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for April 9

By Kim Khan - Wall Street shook off its trepidation from yesterday to close sharply higher in today’s session.

The market was buoyed by more signs that efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic are working as hoped.

And there was enthusiasm in the energy sector, which should continue tomorrow as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the rest of OPEC+ meet.

But there will also be more sobering economic numbers. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be taking questions from around the internet.

Here are three things that could move the markets tomorrow.

1. Jobless Claims Set to Spike Again

Weekly jobless claims, which have become the go-to economic indicator to capture the latest impact of the virus, come out before the bell tomorrow.

The Labor Department will report on claims for first-time unemployment benefits at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Economists are expecting that claims eased off a little from the huge number the week before, but will still post a rise of 5.25 million, according to forecasts compiled by

Continuing claims are seen coming in at a staggering 8 million, eclipsing the level of more than 6 million seen in 2009 during the financial crisis.

At 10:00 AM ET, the University of Michigan will release its preliminary measure of consumer confidence for April.

The consumer sentiment index is expected to sink to 75 from 89.1 in March.

But economists also think consumers are, like President Donald Trump said, starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. The preliminary April consumer expectations component is seen rising to 88.2 from 79.7 the month before.

The Labor Department will also release the latest numbers on wholesale inflation at 8:30 AM ET.

The producer price index (PPI) is expected to have dropped 0.4% in March. The core PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is forecast to have risen 0.1%.

Still, whether all these indicators are as valuable as they were before these unprecedented times is debatable.

“The economy has never changed this fast before,” University of Michigan economics professor Justin Wolfers tweeted. “The unemployment rate is moving as much every two days as it typically moves in a year. So we need economic indicators that can tell us what's happening across the whole economy, day by day.”

2. OPEC+ to Meet, With Cuts Expected

Oil ministers will be brushing up on their video conference skills tonight.

OPEC+ will hold its virtual meeting Thursday that many (bulls) are hoping will result in production cuts to stabilize the market.

WTI futures spiked 11% in late trading as Algeria revved up expectations, saying “massive” output cuts were on the cards, which could be around 10 million barrels per day.

That added to enthusiasm about Russia planning to offer cuts of 1.6 million barrels, Reuters reported, citing a Kremlin source.

U.S. participation could be the key to whether a deal goes through. But the world’s largest crude producer signaled it will contribute about 1.2 million bpd at most in cuts that would be market driven, not an official reduction.

3. Powell Hosts Webinar

The Federal Reserve minutes from its March meetings out today revealed that in its worst-case scenario the central bank believed that the U.S. economy would not recover from the coronavirus damage until next year.

How much has the Fed’s thinking changed? Investors can hear from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell tomorrow when he participates in a webinar at the Brookings Institution think tank at 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT).

“In an online-only discussion, Powell will talk about the current state of the economy, the Fed’s response to the crisis, and what lies ahead,” Brookings said.

Powell will take questions from the audience and viewers via e-mail and Twitter (#COVID19Economy).

You can watch the webinar here.

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