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The Market Wrap for April 17: The Start to a Bumpy Earnings Season

As if investors needed another thing to worry about, this week continued the coronavirus-related volatility, but added a bit of a twist – earnings season has begun. In addition to the various outbreak numbers and death reports, the start of the season has brought some less-than-ideal numbers. A variety of firms have already begun announcing their first-quarter reports, and so far, the numbers, as well as future guidance, have been pretty poor. This has extended across several sectors, including financials and consumer products firms.

Those cautious and missed earnings numbers were met by continuously deteriorating data. This week, data across consumer, employment and housing all showed that the outbreak has started to hit the U.S. economy in a big way. This echoed data from across the sea, with Europe and China seeing lower data points as well.

On the positive side, action by the Federal Reserve as well as the payment of the CARES Act stimulus checks boosted stocks somewhat during both the beginning and end of the week.

In the end, volatility continued over the last few trading sessions. And this time, earnings helped contribute to the sense of caution on the street.

Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when last week was better for traders.

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