The Dow Is Eerily Calm – But Next Week Could Be Menacingly Volatile

  • The Dow Jones rallied on Friday as the U.S. stock market ended the week on a note of relative calm.
  • President Trump signed another $484 billion stimulus package to support small businesses.
  • Dow bulls are bracing for volatility, with a tidal wave of earnings, Q1 GDP, and the FOMC meeting all upcoming next week.

The Dow Jones traded mostly sideways on Friday as Wall Street braced for what could be a week filled with menacing volatility as April gives way to May.

Nearly half of the Dow’s 30 stocks will publish earnings, the Federal Reserve meets Wednesday, and first-quarter GDP will reveal just how much the coronavirus pandemic has already devastated the U.S. economy.

Dow Jones Limps Higher on a Quiet Day for Wall Street

The Dow Jones was calm on Friday ahead of the FOMC meeting, Q1 GDP, and a deluge of Dow 30 earnings next week. | Source: Yahoo Finance

The major U.S. equity indices all rallied on Friday, though the stock market looks poised to snap a two-week winning streak thanks to big losses on Monday and Tuesday

  • The Dow rose 184.07 points or 0.78% to 23,699.33.
  • The S&P 500 gained 1.09% to trade at 2,828.28.
  • The Nasdaq climbed 1.26% to 8,602.13.

Crude oil received another bump, posting a 4% rally as the oil rig count collapsed again, this time by 64.

Nevertheless, the oil price remains well off even the $20 handle at $17 per barrel. Its stabilization is proving to be a support for the Dow, but low prices will remain a drag on the United States economy.

What Moved the Dow Jones on Friday

Congress passed its $484 billion stimulus package for small businesses overnight. This helped boost stocks briefly, but the impact looks to have been well priced into the Dow Jones.

Economic data was weak, as Michigan consumer sentiment showed a big dip once again, though the reading of 70.1 was marginally better than economists’ expectations.

Yet core durable goods orders smashed forecasts. The unexpectedly muted 0.2% dip was a rare bright spot after weeks of rough data.

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