Wall Street opened slightly lower on Monday, after a historic oil production agreement settled some of the volatility that has eroded market confidence in the past few weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by around 100 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were lower by under 0.5 percent each.
Members of OPEC and its allies agreed on Sunday to slash output by 9.7 million barrels a day, the single largest cut ever. Prices should return to around $40 a barrel by the end of 2020, analysts predicted. Oil prices sank to 1991 levels after a price war erupted in March between mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The deal will “save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday, noting that he had just spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
For his part, Trump now appears more determined than ever to open up the economy with a “big bang” early next month, according to multiple people familiar with the decision-making process.
“I think we are all expecting or planning for May 1,” one senior administration official told NBC News. National social distancing guidelines are currently set to expire April 30.
Over the weekend, the president said he would weigh multiple factors to arrive at the “toughest” decision of his administration to date. Trump signaled that he has consulted his top health professionals, business leaders and others whom he described as “smart people” in recent days. The ultimate call “will be based on a lot of facts and instincts,” he said.
Trump is set to unveil his “opening our country council” on Tuesday, a task force made up of business leaders, economic experts, medical professionals, and elected officials.
Last week was one of the best market-wide performances for Wall Street. The Dow and the Nasdaq both gained more than 12 percent, and the S&P 500 had its best week since 1974, also up 12 percent.