U.S. Stocks Under Pressure Following Dire Virus Forecast

Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by
Shain Vernier • 2 min read

It has been another rough morning for U.S. stocks, with the three primary indices falling deep into negative territory. Through the first few hours of trade, the DJIA DOW (-550), S&P 500 SPX (-75), and NASDAQ (-160) are quickly giving back gains from the past week. For the time being, it looks like last night’s COVID-19 briefing from the White House is having a profound impact on market sentiment.

In the daily coronavirus update yesterday evening, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the COVID-19 response team made a grim announcement. Predictive models are estimating between 100,000 and 250,000 deaths to hit the U.S. over the next several weeks. While the numbers weren’t too much of a surprise to experts, the harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the markets.

On the traditional economic news front, today’s U.S. headlines were encouraging. Here is a quick look at the highlights:

Event                                                                                  Actual             Projected         Previous

ADP Employment Change (March)                                  -27K                   -150K                  179K

Markit Manufacturing PMI (March)                                 48.5                      49.2                   49.2

ISM Manufacturing Employment Index (March)           43.8                      43.6                   46.9

Make no mistake, this collection of figures is well below par. However, the employment situation appears to not be as bad as once thought. While the COVID-19 saga continues to play out, there’s reason for optimism regarding a shorter-than-expected recovery for U.S. stocks.

U.S. Stocks Back In The Red

It looks like the strong showing from last week is going to be short-lived. All three major stock indices have turned south once again. For June E-mini DOW futures, rates have fallen back beneath the 21,500 handle.

June E-mini DOW Futures (CL), Daily Chart

Between22,750 and 22,250 there are three resistance levels worth keeping an eye on:

  • Resistance(1): 38% Retracement, 22,448
  • Resistance(2): Bollinger MP, 22,609
  • Resistance(3): Daily SMA, 22,732

Overview: As we roll into late-week trade, a bearish bias will continue to be warranted for the June E-mini DOW as well as U.S. stocks. There’s just too much uncertainty in the market right now stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. While a broad-based recovery may be in the cards for late-April or early-May, things are very likely to get worse before they get better for U.S. stocks.

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