It was only fitting that the quarter should close in dramatic fashion for U.S. equities – fortunately for anyone who was ready to leap off a bridge after this week’s FANG turmoil, Thursday’s drama was of the “green” variety.
Stocks surged to close the holiday-shortened week, helped along by White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters who insisted this afternoon that despite Wednesday’s Axios article (the one that sent Amazon tumbling) and despite Trump’s Thursday morning tweet, the President “isn’t discussing any new actions against the retailer” at this time.
Walters did add that Trump is nonetheless “frustrated with some Amazon customers not paying sales tax.” What Trump didn’t say, but everyone knows, is that he’s also “frustrated” that WaPo continues to tell the truth about his administration and also that Jeff Bezos is a real billionaire – 100+ times over.
Needless to say, this quarter was a break with 2017 precedent. The S&P moved up or down 1% or more on 23 separate occasions including Friday.
First quarterly loss for the S&P since 2015:
For comparison purposes:
Vol. was back this quarter:
Credit risk is back too. 25bps worth of widening in U.S. IG since early February tights:
European speculative grade, widest since last April:
It is clear who is most out of favor here:
Second worst month in history for Tesla:
U.S. versus European financials:
Fifth straight quarter of losses for the dollar (but remember, the Trump administration wants a strong dollar, right?):
Third straight quarterly gain for crude:
Horrible quarter for European equities – down some 4.5%:
Here’s a snapshot:
Remember, there’s an FX headwind here that doesn’t seem to be inclined to abate:
This was the worst start to a year ever for Bitcoin. It plunged below $7,500 on Thursday taking its YTD loss to a hilarious 48%. Here’s Bloomberg’s Camila Russo with some amusing commentary:
Bitcoin has slid in the first quarter of every year for the past five except for 2017, and it’s also gained every Q2. I’m already seeing hopeful messages pop up in my crypto chats: “April coming, exciting month!” one guy said earlier today.
“One guy.” Here’s some advice: don’t be that “guy.”