US Oil Prices Crashed Below $0 a Barrel for the First Time in History

US oil prices plunged, falling below $0 Monday to $-37.63 a barrel. That's the lowest level since NYMEX opened oil futures trading in 1983.


The selloff can be attributed in part to market mechanics. The May futures contract for West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, is about to expire. Most investors are already focusing on the June contract, thinning out trading volume and feeding volatility, UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.
The June futures contract for WTI is trading around $22 per barrel, but that's still sharply lower on the day. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, fell 8% Monday to $25.81 per barrel.
The extreme pressure on the WTI contract for May highlights ongoing concerns about the supply and demand dynamics plaguing the oil market.



The most disappointing earnings season since 1998?

Following the major American banks, Coca-Cola (KO), Netflix (NFLX), Delta (DAL), IBM (IBM) and Intel (INTC) are among the big US companies scheduled to report earnings this week.
First up is IBM, which is on deck Monday after US markets close.
Fewer than 10% of S&P 500 companies have reported results for the January to March period to date. So far, they've "generally disappointed relative to tepid expectations," according to David Kostin, chief US equity strategist at Goldman Sachs. The investment bank calculates that 43% of companies have missed Wall Street's predictions, on pace for the highest rate since at least 1998.
FactSet analyst John Butters predicts that S&P 500 earnings dropped 14.5% in the first quarter. That would mark the largest year-over-year decline for the index since the third quarter of 2009.
Watch this space: Much of the attention will be on expectations for full-year earnings, as investors try to assess how the coronavirus pandemic will hit businesses over a longer period. But Kostin notes that most strategists have written off 2020 entirely and are already looking ahead to 2021.

Source: CNN

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