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The Best of What They Said and I Read Week Ending 3/15/2020

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.  I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice.

The Wall Street Journal – March 14, 2020 – Stocks Wrap Up Haywire Week With a Rally – Gunjan Banerji, Anna Hirtnestein, and Joanne Chiu

  • “Investors braved a whiplash week for stocks that landed major indexes in a bear market for the first time in 11 years…The chaotic period on Wall Street continued Friday, with the Dow…staging its biggest surge in more than a decade one day after registering its biggest selloff since 1987…Stocks swung on Friday before making a stunning rally in the last minutes of the trading session to push indexes to their best single-day gains since 2008…Big swings in the final minutes of trading have become a staple of the recent market tumult. Despite Friday’s surge, all three major indexes finished the week with losses of at least 8%. The S&P and Nasdaq remain 20% below their record highs set last month; the Dow is down 22% from its peak. In one sign of how topsy-turvy the week was, the S&P moved up or down by at least 4% for five consecutive sessions, the longest such streak since 1929, according to Dow Jones Market Data.”
  • “…On two occasions in the past week, stocks fell so hard and so fast that for the first time in 23 years, circuit-breakers were triggered that froze the entire market for 15-minute spans. Investors searched for protection in the options market, sending prices higher and driving the Cboe Volatility Index, known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” to its highest level since the financial crisis this week…”
  • “The Dow fell 10% on Thursday after President Trump announced a 30-day ban on some travel from Europe into the U.S. It was the largest one-day drop since the 1987 stock-market crash, what became known as Black Monday…On Monday, oil prices tanked the most since the Gulf War of 1991 as a price fight between Saudi Arabia and Russia escalated.”
  • “…Then the S&P 500 swiveled into a bear market in just 16 trading sessions, a record pace. The speed at which markets went from calm to frenzied has alarmed traders across Wall Street. Just weeks ago, corporate earnings and a domestic economy that was humming along led stocks to fresh highs.”

Bloomberg – March 13, 2020 – Another Day, Another $2 Trillion Has Stock Traders Shuddering – Vildana Hajiric and Claire Ballentine

  • “Here’s something to ponder as you consider Friday’s roaring rebound in equities. To undo the worst stock market crash since 1987, it took the biggest rally since October 2008. That’s right: The last time shares surged this much, it came smack in the middle of the worst month in 33 years, one the S&P 500 finished down 17%. So while Wall Street was naturally thrilled to finish its most volatile stretch since the financial crisis on an up note, nobody was ready to call the bottom. Another thought, to leaven the ecstasy. Last time stocks rose 9% in one session then fell 9% in the next, it was 1931. Also a less-than-auspicious year.”
  • “…The S&P 500 surged 9.3% Friday, erasing almost 90% of the previous day’s rout, as President Donald Trump joined world leaders in pledging to do whatever it takes to protect the economy from the coronavirus fallout. The second straight roughly $2 trillion move in shares capped a week in which the averages rose or fell more than 4% five straight days, a first since 1929. Friday’s session was the perfect encapsulation of the week in markets. On a chart, the S&P 500 posted 16 discernible swings of at least 1% over the 6 1/2 hours.”

U.S. Global Investors - Investor Alert – March 13, 2020 – Frank Holmes

  • “…If anyone has the right to say “I told you so,” it’s Bill Gates. Two years ago, the co-founder, former CEO and now former board member of Microsoft urged governments to step up their preparedness in the event of a modern global pandemic. Such an event, Gates warned, could conceivably be more dangerous than any other threat facing humanity today, including nuclear proliferation, due mainly to the fact that we’ve become so interconnected. Because new vaccines take time to develop and deploy, the U.S. in particular needed to invest in “antiviral drugs and antibody therapies that can be stockpiled or rapidly manufactured to stop the spread of pandemic diseases or treat people who have been exposed,” Gates said in a speech at the time. And in a 2018 interview with STAT, he said he found it “strange… that the world isn’t doing more” to brace itself for a potential pandemic.”
  • “…The 9/11 attacks ushered in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and more. What will this pandemic bring in? My guess is that it may lead to better innovations to detect if people are running high temperatures in airports, schools and other public places, not to mention stronger border controls for right of entry to prevent the spread of disease.”

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