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🚨 Situational Awareness: "Axios on HBO” is expanding its 2020 season and moving to a new night and time with episodes airing biweekly, starting Monday, April 27 at 11 pm ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
🎙 "The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home.”- See who said it and why it matters at the bottom.
The stock market has risen by 25% since the Fed announced its QE-infinity program on March 23, committing to buy an uncapped amount of U.S. government debt for an unspecified amount of time, but 2020 has been all about the surge in U.S. Treasuries.
The big picture: Already seeing a bid this year as bond investors piled in because of early fears about the novel coronavirus and the U.S.-China trade war, long-dated Treasuries have been the world's best performing major asset class this year by a wide margin.
What happened: The Fed's decision to restart its bond-buying program and ratchet its balance sheet to a record $6.62 trillion as of Thursday helped offset a global liquidity freeze and end a mad dash for cash across markets.
By the numbers: Yields on benchmark 10-year notes have fallen by around 27 basis points since March 23, while yields on 3- and 5-year notes have hit all-time lows this week. (Yields fall as prices rise.)
Between the lines: The move in the Treasury market also reflects investors' historically low expectations for inflation, even in the face of record spending by Congress that likely has already pushed the U.S. annual budget deficit over $4 trillion for 2020.
Keep it 💯: That's because the new spending is “unproductive debt,” say Van Hoisington, lead manager of the Wasatch-Hoisington U.S. Treasury Fund, and Lacy Hunt, the firm’s chief economist.
The bottom line: The run in Treasuries, especially longer-dated maturities, could have further to go, as expectations for the economy to rebound are pushed out further.
The House of Representatives passed a $484 billion coronavirus relief package that includes $321 billion in new funding for small businesses already passed by the Senate. (Politico)
Some Amazon warehouse workers are expected to call in sick today to protest inadequate employee protections and the company's retributions against those who speak out. (Bloomberg)
Intel stock fell in after-hours trading after it beat earnings estimates but released a second quarter profit outlook that was weaker than expected. (MarketWatch)
Google plans to cut its marketing budget by as much as half and institute hiring freezes in the second half of the year, according to memos from top leaders. (CNBC)
The news about U.S. job losses has been grim, as around 26.5 million workers have filed for unemployment benefits in the past five weeks, but the number of Americans who have lost their jobs is likely far higher.
Driving the news: The latest U.S. initial jobless claims report showed more than 4.4 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, raising the total to about one in six American workers.
By the numbers: Over the last decade, continuing claims have represented an average of about 27.5% of the number of unemployed, DRW Trading rates strategist Lou Brien tells Axios.
Even if the continuing claims percentage jumps to 50% of unemployed, meaning nearly twice as many unemployed people as average qualify for and are receiving benefits, it would mean that upwards of 32 million people are now unemployed.
Be smart: Both initial jobless claims and continuing claims are imperfect measures of the number of people who have lost their jobs as many are not eligible for unemployment benefits and some who are do not apply.
Institutional investors revived their flight to safety last week, pushing inflows to money market funds to all-time-high levels, largely unaccompanied by retail investors.
What it means: Money market funds saw inflows of $108.70 billion for the week ending April 22, almost all of which came from professionals who added $108.26 billion.
The big picture: A record $4.65 trillion is now held in money market funds. That's around $700 billion more than the peak level seen during the 2007–2009 global financial crisis.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Despite the tech industry's relative health during the pandemic, tech product roadmaps and schedules have been revisited, shaken up and in some cases completely rewritten thanks to the coronavirus, Axios' Ina Fried writes.
What's happening: Both giants and startups are trying to focus on projects that are doable, relevant and critical. Those that don't meet any of these criteria are likely to fall by the wayside.
The big picture: Although tech may be the best-positioned industry of all for an era of remote work, and companies in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area were among the first to send workers home, the industry is hardly immune to this crisis' impact.
It's still too early to know the full impact, but early casualties have already begun to surface.
This is surely just the start. In a recent interview with Axios, Box CEO Aaron Levie said he made the call several weeks ago that the coronavirus' impact would be much greater than initially assumed.
Go deeper: Coronavirus rewrites tech's product plans
Thanks for reading!
Quote: “The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home.”
Why it matters: On April 24, 1184 B.C., Greek soldiers entered Troy inside the famous horse they offered as a "gift" to the Trojans with the above inscription.