If we think about the markets and economy as a puzzle that was in scattered pieces from a sharp decline in the first quarter, the second quarter was spent trying to put those pieces back together. Looking back to April, we saw unemployment jump to 14.7%, the highest level recorded since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started recording the data in 1948 (source: www.wsj.com). What made this increase so surprising was the speed with which it happened. In February 2020, the unemployment rate was the lowest it had been in 50 years (3.5%).
In April, we experienced something we probably never thought we would, negative oil prices. While some of this was a technicality stemming from how oil trades on futures markets, it was emblematic of both a stalled global economy and a glut of oil with nowhere to store it.