On Sunday afternoon, as done regularly these days, I decided upon the four major issues to emphasize in the coming week. These follow upon daily exchanges with contacts and colleagues worldwide and my ongoing analysis of the themes developing. Usually, the subject matter of one or both Oil and Energy Investor installments coming to you weekly has its origin from the list of four sent along each Monday.
But today we need to pause and talk about something else.
We have entered the kind of environment Thomas Paine had in mind when he proclaimed, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” To be sure, Paine had his eyes on the British Crown – and a revolution.
Today, we are confronting an invisible enemy threatening to rend asunder the fabric of American life.
There is a new “normal” of living in the age of COVID-19 (coronavirus). And all indications point to it being around for longer than a few weeks of stay-at-home hiatus.
These Are the Surreal Signs of the Times
For example, anchors of national TV shows are hosting via Skype. Shopping malls are empty. Favorite restaurants are either closed or serving takeout only. Serious talk is circulating about bringing in the Army (the very subject that so animated Paine’s concerns), as governors call out the National Guard. A bailout – now considered an initial down payment – of at least $1 trillion is under serious consideration in Washington, D.C.. The Federal Reserve is rapidly using up its arsenal of monetary weapons. A live sporting event is a receding memory. The IRS has postponed the deadline for paying taxes by 90 days.
And Amazon announced yesterday it is hiring 100,000 new employees immediately to service the tidal wave of orders coming in online from all of us hunkering down at home.
But this photo I took depicts the change dramatically.
Monday, March 16 at 2:11 PM on a typical sunny Fort Lauderdale afternoon… This was the view from one of our 27th floor balconies on the water.
Three things of note here. First, off to the left in the center is a cruise liner. It left Port Everglades, the large Fort Lauderdale port, on Sunday and was stranded in front of us with no place to go.
It finally moved off – somewhere – some 36 hours later.
Second is the beach itself, deserted as far as the eye can see down the coast to Miami. Now, this is Spring Break, and tens of thousands of students have converged here. But COVID-19 has forced a closure of the main attraction.
Additionally, restrictions on how many people can gather are ending any ideas of partying, and there are increasing worries over whether these folks can easily get back home once they decide to leave. After all, their campuses are also closed for at least the remainder of the semester.
Sure hope they brought a book.
Yet it is the third that I find most haunting, looking down that same beach while writing this.
There Are Better Days Ahead and You Can Protect Your Wealth Now
There is a rising feeling of loneliness, and of isolation; a feeling that the way life was lived on the assumption it would always be this way… has gone.
In addition to everything else happening, that may be the most difficult of all.
Well, we may be separating ourselves to minimize a virus, but you are never alone. As the entire Money Morning family has been demonstrating, times like these result in experts providing a wave of support and having your back.
Yes, we all have concerns over where our investments are heading. But we all know the markets will be coming back; this not a zombie apocalypse.
It’s the when that concerns all of us.
Until then, minimize your exposure to a broad range of stocks, recognize that liquidity problems prevail in the bond market – meaning the usual trade off between price and yields (themselves under pressure due to the Fed having axed rates) no longer applies. Be sure to establish a base list of select holdings to maintain throughout the uncertainty.
You can click here to subscribe automatically to all the quality stock and trading research at MoneyMorning.com; we’ve been covering the best stocks to hang and the best trading tactics to use during the crisis.
The market is trading in a volatile but also developing range. Currently, however, that range continues to move downward. There is no stability in sight because emotion has long since ruled the trading.
It makes no difference that we are in a more oversold condition than any experienced in my lifetime. No one has the fortitude to call a floor and begin the move back in.
Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy. Take care of each other. Keep your powder dry. We will be back in the fight in due course.
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