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  • Roger S. Conrad

The Wuhan Coronavirus, Economic Growth and Oil

By Elliott H. Gue on Feb. 3, 2020

Crude oil prices and the broader stock market started out 2020 with a bang – the S&P 500 reached an all-time closing high of 3,329.62 on January 17th while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices jumped to $63.27/bbl on January 6, 2020 surpassing the highs set in September immediately following attacks on Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure.

As is so often the case, there have been plenty of pundits out there citing market risks over the past few months including a still-shaky global economy, high stock market valuations and an overbought stock market; yet, the event that’s actually precipitated market downside came out of left field in the form of a virus outbreak in China.

While reports of a new virus first emerged at the end of 2019, the market began to take notice much later on, starting around Monday January 20th as the frequency of news stories mentioning the words “coronavirus” and “Wuhan” exploded:

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