Apr 11, 2019

The S&P 500 has rallied on optimism

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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The S&P 500 is 1.4%, or 43 points, away from the all-time high it hit in September thanks in large part to this year's strong first quarter, which was the best 3-month start since 1998.

The big picture: The index has history on its side. Per LPL Research, when the S&P has stayed above its low point in December during the first quarter, it has ended the year higher 34 out of the last 34 times.

Between the lines: That's a strong track record, but stocks so far have been relying on some optimistic assumptions.

  • "The market has priced in" some semblance of a U.S.-China trade deal that would ease tariff pain as well as an orderly end to Brexit, Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, tells Axios. Investors are also optimistic about lower-for-longer interest rates.

The problem: These are all far from sure bets.

What to watch: The market is not pricing in an escalation of U.S.-E.U. trade tensions, Frederick says.

Go deeper: The stock market loves nothing more than to climb a wall of worry

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,237,420 — Total deaths: 67,260 — Total recoveries: 252,944Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 312,762 — Total deaths: 9.132 — Total recoveries: 15,044Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. Work update: Employees still going to work face temperature checks, distanced work stations, protective devices and mass absences.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo says New York is "literally going day-to-day with our supplies"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Sunday that New York is struggling to maintain medical supplies while combatting the novel coronavirus — operating "literally" on a "day-to-day" basis.

Why it matters: New York City has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, facing mass quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Cuomo said Saturday that New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths.

Illinois governor: "The president does not understand the word 'federal'"

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's comments about the federal government's stockpile of medical equipment suggest he "does not understand the word 'federal.'"

Why it matters: White House adviser Jared Kushner argued at a press briefing last week that the "notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use."