Your Monday Market Blip 4/20/20

Your Monday Market Blip 4/20/20

Markets traded lower as oil prices hit negative values and congress works on another stimulus bill to restock the small business PPP program. At the close the Dow was off 590 points at 23,650. Heading into the close trading volume was lower and IBD still has markets listed in rally mode.
WTI crude oil plunged in price as production cuts are not able to keep up with falling demand. It is estimated that US production is down 13% but with storage nearing capacity oil buyers have no interest in taking on more crude until demand picks up. May oil contracts expire tomorrow and with no buyers the spot price plunged and for the first time ever WTI crude finished the day at negative value. In a counter move natural gas futures moved up 10%. If oil production stops then gas supply, which is often a byproduct of oil production, will decline. Natural gas demand is more resilient since it is used for electric generation, heating and cooking and this might explain some of the price movements seen today.
The traditional brick and mortar retail sector is about to be hit with a wall of bankruptcies. Neiman Marcus and other stores like JP Penny are not expected to survive. Some stores are better off than others. The gurus at Cowen said Nordstrom’s has the ability to survive an extended shutdown but other companies like Macy’s have less cushion. Nordstrom’s CEO Erik “the Viking” Nordstrom said digital investments over the past few years are bolstering the company’s e-commerce business and should help it survive the current economic turmoil.
For what it’s worth Walmart is hiring another 50,000 workers and at the same time selling its Vudu online streaming service to Comcast which launched its own “Peacock” streaming service last week. This event went unnoticed given all that is happening in the world today.