This Weekly Market Update reviews the top three market headlines: Jobless Claims on the Rise, Oil Continues to Plunge, Senate Passes Paid-Leave Bill

Data Points

Top Three Market Headlines

Jobless Claims on the Rise: Initial jobless claims increased by 70,000 during the week ended Saturday, March 14, as an increasing number of businesses began temporarily closing to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Claims rose to a 281,000, marking their highest level since September 2017. The leisure and hospitality industries, which make up approximately 11% of nonfarm payrolls, have been hit especially hard by mandates requiring businesses to temporarily close. The number of claims is expected to continue increasing in upcoming weeks as COVID-19 containment measures spread.

Oil Continues to Plunge:After declining 23% during the week ended March 13, the price of Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell another 22% last week. The intra-week low closing price of $24.88 per barrel on Wednesday was the lowest closing level since May 2003. The price of oil is now down almost 60% since the start of the year, having been pressured most recently by the recent price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which has resulted in rising supplies just as consumption falls in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Passes Paid-Leave Bill: Senate lawmakers took a step last week to address the economic impact of COVID-19 through the passage of a $100 billion aid package to provide support for households, families, and workers. The bill, approved by the Senate on Wednesday and signed by President Trump shortly thereafter, includes emergency paid leave, extended unemployment insurance, and free COVID-19 testing. Following its passage, Senate Lawmakers turned their attention to an additional stimulus package proposed by the Trump administration that could involve financial relief to struggling industries and direct payments to Americans.


As of March 23, 2020 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World -11.93% -29.50% -29.50% -20.57%
S&P 500 -14.95% -28.33% -28.33% -16.74%
Russell 2000 -16.14% -39.04% -39.04% -33.32%
MSCI EAFE -5.78% -31.26% -31.26% -24.34%
MSCI Emerging Markets -9.81% -27.76% -27.76% -22.86%
FTSE NAREIT -25.75% -38.01% -38.01% -31.14%
Bloomberg Commodity -6.43% -24.24% -24.24% -24.42%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate -2.29% 0.01% 0.01% 6.52%

WSJ 3/19/2020; WSJ 3/18/2020; WSJ 3/18/2020. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.