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Weekly economic review & outlook
Another terrible week for financial markets

MAR. 23, 2020

You Need to Know

Week in review

Further equity market drops and early signs of economic decline

It was another tumultuous week on Wall Street while business surveys from March and weekly jobless claims worsened sharply.

Housing up, but is this the peak?

Single-family housing starts and existing home sales rose strongly in February, but the coronavirus should hit housing activity soon.

Week Ahead

Forecasts

Small drop expected in new home sales

While underlying demand conditions for housing remained strong in February, a small decline in mortgage applications for purchases suggests that new home sales will slip a bit from January’s expansion high.

Initial jobless claims could see an unprecedented spike

Weekly initial jobless claims rose strongly last week, setting the stage for what could be a record rise as COVID-19 impacts the job market.

The S&P 500 stock index dropped again, for the fourth time out of the past five weeks. Last week’s 15 percent decline was the largest since the Great Recession, and in the past five weeks it is down by nearly 32 percent. Multiple layers of intervention by the Federal Reserve have helped portions of fixed-income and money markets over the past week, but financial markets are still in significant distress as concerns of a deep dip in economic activity climb.

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