The Dow Rose 470 Points Because Oil-Production Cuts Look Possible

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Stocks surged Thursday. Saudi Arabia may be ready to end an oil spat with Russia, and overall production could be curbed, lifting energy prices.

The Dow Rose 470 Points Because Oil-Production Cuts Look Possible

Stocks surged Thursday. Saudi Arabia may be ready to end an oil spat with Russia, and overall production could be curbed, lifting energy prices.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-citys-coronavirus-death-toll-passes-1-000-11585758644 https://www.barrons.com/articles/record-6-6-million-americans-file-jobless-claims-doubling-the-week-earlier-level-51585831889?mod=article_inline https://www.barrons.com/articles/fridays-jobs-report-will-be-ugly-the-ugliest-is-yet-to-come-51585749148 https://www.barrons.com/articles/oil-prices-trump-tweet-saudi-crown-prince-russia-putin-51585840278?mod=HP_DAY_RELATED_2 https://asset.barrons.com/dj-mg/dice/barrons-staffpicks-2d590600-c862-4394-b9d3-66b48c376d60/inset.json https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudis-explore-ways-to-resolve-oil-price-war-11585844035 mailto:evie.liu@barrons.com The Dow Rose 470 Points Because Oil-Production Cuts Look Possible By Evie Liu The Dow surged Thursday, as Saudi Arabia may be ready to end an oil spat with Russia.

After two days of losses, stocks surged Thursday on upbeat oil news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 469.93 points, or 2.24%, to close at 21,413.44. The S&P 500 rose 56.40 points, or 2.28%, to end at 2526.90, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 126.73 points, or 1.72%, to close at 7487.31.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to spread in the U.S., with more than 1,000 people dying from the disease on Wednesday alone, making it the deadliest day for the pandemic in America so far. The total number of deaths in the U.S. has now topped 5,600. Worries about testing accuracy, shortages of medical supplies, and small-business failures have also weighed on investor sentiment.

As the pandemic keeps consumers home, away from physical stores, a large wave of layoffs and furloughs have been announced since late March. More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended March 28, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The latest figure is a record since the agency began collecting data in 1967, and doubled the previous record set last week of 3.3 million claims.

The next big reading will come Friday morning, when data on nonfarm payrolls for March are released. But the March report won’t reflect the depth of the job-market crash over the last two weeks, since its cutoff date was in early March. Economists expect the numbers to be much uglier in the weeks ahead.

Still, a dismal outlook for the jobs market was partly offset by some renewed optimism in the oil market. Oil prices rallied on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to end their price war soon and cut about 10 million to 15 million barrels per day in crude production. “I have confidence in both that they’ll be able to work it out,” Trump said on Wednesday at a White House press briefing. Trump is due to meet some U.S. oil executives on Friday to discuss ways to boost the industry.

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Still, as global command significantly shrinks amid the halting economic activities, oil supply will likely outpace demand for months to come even if Russia and Saudi Arabia cut production.

Brent crude futures were up as much as 35% in Thursday’s trading, but gave back some gains in the afternoon to settle 21% higher at $29.94 per barrel. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 jumped 9.2% on Thursday to become the best-performing sector.

Saudi officials reportedly called Trump’s 10-million-barrels talk an “exaggeration,” but the country is willing to end an oil spat with Russia and consider curbs if other nations join the effort to balance the oil market. As the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia is considering cutting output to below nine million barrels a day from its recent production rate of about 12 million barrels a day, according to the report.

Write to Evie Liu at evie.liu@barrons.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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