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Tuesday Ticker: April 14, 2020

Minnesotan Mask Magic

Good press has its benefits, 3M executives have learned.

The Minnesota-based industrial equipment provider has seen its stock rise by 17.5 percent in three weeks.

The world’s foremost provider of surgical safety masks has recently been featured in the news for its refusal to abide by White House requests to stop filling international orders on its masks.

On March 20, its stock dipped below $125 U.S. for the first time since 2013. By April 8, it was trading at around $146.87 U.S.

Gas Relief

Rumours that Russia and Saudi Arabia have reached a deal to cut oil production have pushed crude future prices up by more than six percent this week.
Oil prices have ticked upward after falling below their 21st century low point in March.

The deterioration of the oil sector has resulted in massive layoffs throughout Western Canada, where oil production only remains profitable with high demand.
Before the news broke, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney suggested that unemployment in Alberta would likely rise to 25 percent as a result of the Coronavirus and petroleum demand collapse.

It is unlikely that the spike will make a tremendous difference to Alberta’s futures. Even if consumption returns to 2019 levels, excess petrol will still mean petroleum production in Alberta’s oil fields will likely remain uneconomical.

Volkswagen’s Vim

Among OEMs, Volkswagen stock has performed surprisingly well during the Coronavirus crisis.

Since a late-March recent low-water point, the Teutonic titan of auto manufacturing has seen its stocks slide up by 22 percent. More than any other major OEM, save one.

General Motors has seen its stock rise from about $16.50 U.S. to $24.50 U.S. in the same period.

What makes Volkswagen’s stock spike more surprising is that, unlike GM, which had appeared on many best stock lists prior to the meltdown, investors were wary of VW.

Prior to the mid-February global market dip caused by the Coronavirus, Volkswagen had faced bad press for a number of years due to its involvement in a gas emissions scandal.

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