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Futures and commodities were hit violently in the first quarter of 2020 with the black swan Covid -19 event running roughshod over energy markets in particular. The biggest gainers were safehaven elements such as the VIX, treasuries and foodstuffs.

Futures Performance 2020 03 31

 ViX was the best performer in the first quarter as stockmarkets collapsed

It was a brutal month for stocks and energy in particular. The Dow closed down 13.74% in March, its worst month since October 2008. The Dow closed down -23.2% for the quarter, its worst since the fourth quarter of 1987 and was the Dow’s worst first quarter ever. 

The flip side of the stockmarket destruction was the VIX as fear took hold with the coronavirus pandemic. Gold also benefited. Though the yellow metal settled down 1.57% at $1,596.6 per ounce, itl gained 4.83% in the first quarter, posting its sixth straight positive quarter.

Orange Juice Futures closed up 20.5% this quarter, posting its best quarter since Q4 2015 when OJ gained 37.04%

Palladium closed up 20.71% this quarter for its best quarter since Q3 2016 when palladium gained 20.78%

How deep has the fall been? The Dow is 25.88% below its intraday all-time high of 29,568.57 from Feb 12. The S&P closed down 1.6% for its second negative day in three, closing up or down more than 1% every day in March with the exception of March 19. The S&P closed down 12.51% over the month of March, its worst month since October 2008. The index closed down 20% for the first quarter, its worst quarter since the fourth quarter of 2008, when the S&P 500 lost 22.56%. It was the S&P 500′s worst first quarter ever. Sectors:

10 out of 11 sectors were negative today led by Utilities down 4.02%. Nine out of 11 sectors closed down at least 20% below their 52-week high closes with the exception of Health Care and Staples. The U.S. 10-year note yielding 0.6679% vs. Friday’s close of 0.744%

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude did rise on the last day of the month by 1.9% to settle at $20.48 per barrel on Tuesday.  However the contract posted its worst month and quarter on record, falling 54% and 66%, respectively.

20200331 WTI worst quarter

 Sources: Finviz, `CNBC, TC

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