Equity markets are weak to kick off the second quarter, as investors continue to struggle with the combination of U.S. coronavirus case growth and the concurrent weakening fundamentals of the economy. Although markets are down broadly, there is less of the "sell everything" panic feel in markets and even the VIX, while at 50, remains below the 80s seen a week ago. The upcoming 1Q EPS season could be a test of the market’s bottoming

The White House has spoken of 100,000 to 250,000 total U.S. deaths and a crisis peaking in 4-6 weeks from now, but the template to watch remains New York City and New York State, where the first real exponential breakout took place. The latest data shows that NYC “new cases” have been flat for five consecutive days, which could mean the market will bottom before the jobless claims peak. The next few days will bring COVID-19’s economic carnage (secondary front) into focus, with jobless claims, employment reports and the start of 1Q earnings reports.

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POINT #1: A inconvenient fact--stocks bottom before jobless claims peak.... Talk of 9 million future jobless claims (it was 6.6 million April) is astounding because this represents about 6% of the employed workforce (152 million), and in just the last two ...

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