Recall back to March when everything in the New York tri-state area closed in order to slow the spread of corona virus. Outside of New York, your timeline may have been different but the experience is likely the same. We stayed home. Kids learned remotely. The economy slumped. Jobless claims skyrocketed. Uncertainty was the only thing certain. This week, the S&P 500 hit a new highs. Wait, what?!
With the COVID-19 shutdown profoundly impacting the US economy with over 30 million job losses, just one in 10 fund managers expect a V-shaped recovery according to the FT. Is this the right call? Luckily we can look to the Far East as a crystal ball and what we may have in store in the next few months.
China re-opened their economy in mid-February so they are about 3-5 months ahead of the US economy as the US is opening states at differing schedules.
What does it suggest about a V-shaped recovery? Some sectors have rebounded in a strong V, while others have been slow to recover. Let's take a closer look.
While many people are hoping for a V-shape recovery for the economy, restaurateurs aren't so optimistic. It is scary to think about what the restaurant landscape might look like in the fallout of COVID-19 especially for fine dining which simply can't operate at half capacity.
Recently, the Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman made waves for pushing for the reopening of Las Vegas. While it may not make sense from a health perspective, their economy relies on tourism, conference and gambling. Even if the governor decides to reopen, it isn't clear how quickly things can return to anything close to normal. Casinos will need to spend more on regular cleanings and gamblers will likely need to wear masks, have their temperatures checked, and sit with social distancing. This doesn't sound like an ideal environment to gamble. Whatever the case, we can look the Far East to the Macau casinos to see how they have done.
In the last three weeks, over 15 million people have filed jobless claims. This is sharpest employment loss in history. The unemployment rate will surpass 15% in short order and could even go to 20%+. Optimists say that when the economy re-starts, jobs will return; however, we are concerned that not all jobs will come back right away and employment will take time to recover.
There is an investment adage that says, "Don't fight the Fed." Put simply, when the Fed is providing liquidity to the markets, it should be an overall positive for the stock market, and you should be invested. Historically, this meant investors should watch what the Fed is doing in terms of interest rate policy. Today, with the Fed already hacking the rate back to zero, investors have to look at quantitative easing and it is truly epic.
The novel coronavirus information and number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases change daily. Here are helpful links and resources for tracking and keeping up-to-date.
It should also be noted that the New York Times has removed the paywall for all coronavirus articles.
The Senate today agreed to a massive $2 trillion stimulus deal (roughly 10% of GDP) to combat the economic fallout from COVID-19. This is a bigger stimulus deal than the Great Recession. Here are some of the highlights:
This week began my family's social distancing, work from home (#WFH), homeschooling experiment. If you're not already doing the same, odds are that you will be soon. Having completed the prerequisite reading (Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day,) my wife and I politely turned down invitations for play dates and get-togethers. We remain focused on doing our part toward flattening the curve. This means having three kids (four if you count me) at home with limited contact to the outside world. It's an adjustment for everyone. Whenever the kids start clashing, usually by late afternoon, we take a family walk around the block. On just day five, we find ourselves walking a lot!
Last week jobless claims rose to 281,000. With the fast moving COVID-19 eviscerating demand, this is just the initial blast off of jobless claims. For those expecting a V-shape bottom, it is just way too early to call. Bill Gates believes the virus shutdown can last 10 weeks. This is going to be incredible strain on businesses.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.-"Runnymede"), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Runnymede. Please remember that if you are a Runnymede client, it remains your responsibility to advise Runnymede, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Runnymede is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Runnymede's current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Runnymede does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Runnymede's web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.