Learning to Think Beyond Today
Let’s think about the global shutdown, and the shortest bear market on record (33 days) that it created.
No one escaped the impact.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) tells us that the recession started in February.
So, what the “end of recession” indicators?
70% of our economy is about all of us acting out and living our lives. We move here and there doing things, purchasing things, building things, partaking in things, servicing things, and the like.
With the arrival of the Retail Sales data for May, it seems the experts – who always seem to arrive as supreme thinkers during times of Armageddon - were slightly off in their expectations….again.
Oh, and by the way, May was NOT what you might call a “full re-opening” for retail. It was only slightly better than a slight re-opening.
And here is what we all did in the slow march to the new normal:
About Last Thursday…
As you may have guessed, I received a few "comments" about the little sell-off on Thursday.
After that 1,700-point waterfall, pretty much every bear could be seen preening for the crowd and chuckling under their collective breath: "See, I told you the world was ending."
Since that cliff dive (read: panic), something we will need to become accustomed too more over time, we’ve seen bounces of between about 150 and 700 points (at the time of writing).
What Does It Tell Us?
Well, it suggests that we must learn to think beyond today.
Our emotions are extremely dangerous when it comes to money and markets.
The scary looking "markets are overvalued" chatter will soon fall like dust in the wind.
Check the latest Apple data run here: $513 Billion in App sales for the App store for 2019. It’s stunning.
And how about the latest Citi and BAML Surveys:
- Record all-time highs in cash on hand (read: rocket fuel)
- A full 75% of participants feel the market is over-valued
- Over 67% feel this is nothing more than a bear market rally
- Homebuilders sentiment saw the largest one month increase on record - driving a surge in home demand that has caught the builders off guard.
And remember that Gen Y is just beginning to enter their home-buying years, so a steady surge should not surprise anyone over the coming quarters and years.
Oh, and Citi's surprise economic conditions index went from record lows to record highs in a span of five weeks – which is sure to be helped on by the latest retail data.
So, this was not only the shortest bear market on record, but it will put the NBER guys and ladies to work on explaining it.
The Science and Medicine Front
The good news keeps flowing under all the political noise.
On the medical front attacking the virus there was an important release this morning on treatment out of a UK test:
The Barbell Economy© is doing exactly what we expected it to do: Disrupting everything, and mostly for the better.
That will require an amount of trust, faith, patience, and discipline that only a few in the crowd can muster.
Patience is the friend of the long-term investor and the Achilles heel of the trader.