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Yesterday’s advance put the S&P 500 up more than 13% for April, the index's biggest monthly increase since 1974.  Optimism was driven by positive results from Gilead's remdesivir trial, which could help speed recovery from COVID-19, as well as strong earnings from Microsoft and Facebook that put the Nasdaq Composite on track to erase losses for the year. The Fed further pledged to use "its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time" and the news was enough to override data showing the U.S. economy had logged its worst quarterly performance since 2009. (SA)

 

McDonald’s reported first-quarter earnings this morning that fell 17% as the coronavirus pandemic led to restaurant closures and plunging sales.  Net sales dropped 6% to $4.71 billion as the company observed “dramatic changes in consumer behavior”.  The company’s international developmental licensed markets business, which includes Brazil and Japan, is faring better, with 80% of locations operating. About 99% of Chinese restaurants have reopened, but the company said demand is down because consumers have not fully resumed their routines prior to the crisis. (CNBC)

 

Microsoft Corp. outperformed the financial expectations that it faced even before the coronavirus pandemic in an earnings report after the bell yesterday. The company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $10.75 billion on sales of $35 billion (FT).


Finally, US weekly jobless claims are out, this week’s claims hit 3.84 million, topping 30 million over the last 6 weeks.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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