As a child of the 70s, I have come to embrace a few, eternal truths: disco should have never died; big collars were a good idea, and the Fonz was the coolest guy who ever lived. Speaking of the Fonz, I am reminded of a Happy Days episode featuring Spike, the Fonz’s nephew, and how that episode and Spike can help us all better understand monetary policy today. Seriously.
It is one thing to understand we are living through an unprecedented, pandemic driven economic downturn, and all together another to learn the US unemployment rate is 14.7% and that 20.5 million of our fellow Americans lost their jobs in April.
We got our first look at Q1 Gross Domestic Product last week, and as expected, it wasn’t pretty. While the Q1 GDP number is subject to revision, it showed the economy contracted (4.8%) Q to Q.
They say if you live long enough you really do see everything. Well, last week investors saw something they had never seen before – the price of a barrel of oil going for negative $37, at least based on the May 2020 futures contract on West Texas Intermediate (WTI).
Economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the phrase “creative destruction” to describe the way innovation in the manufacturing process increases productivity while destroying the old way of doing things as a new efficient way is developed.
We live in red or blue states; we tune into liberal or conservative media outlets; our President is either Making America Great Again or an existential threat to our Republic; on it goes. Yet, consider how policymakers—including House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and their respective legislative bodies—have responded to COVID-19, in particular the speed and deliberateness with which they passed the $2.1 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
US equities have rallied sharply the past few weeks, with the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500) now 27% above its March 23 intra-day low of 2,189. We believe the March 23 low will— in hindsight—prove to be the low for this market cycle. What we find noteworthy about the stock market and S&P 500 today is that despite the
US equities have rallied sharply the past few weeks, with the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500) now 27% above its March 23 intra-day low of 2,189. We believe the March 23 low will— in hindsight—prove to be the low for this market cycle.
Someone somewhere was the first to say, “Hope is not a strategy.” Now, that is true in all walks of life, but especially in investing. You can’t hope the market will go up. You can’t hope your portfolio will provide an adequate rate of return.
A bear market bottom has historically been marked by several economic and market signposts, including depressed investor sentiment, widening credit spreads and a policy response to the systemic shock facing the country. More importantly, as we try to identify when . . .
Most of the focus on COVID-19 has understandably been on its physical impact, but the psychological impact of a pandemic is also worth considering. Social interaction is a huge source of psychological wellbeing, and its loss, paired with concerns about the market, as well as the health and wellbeing of loved ones, can begin to take a psychological toll.