Covid propaganda continues to damage stocks. Any relief on the horizon?
WASHINGTON – US stocks continued their massive decline Tuesday afternoon, as a number of major negatives have, at least momentarily, robbed the bulls of any current enthusiasm. We deal with these issues in today’s companion piece. But this column offers a bit more on how the media / CDC Covid propaganda continues to take a toll on stocks by raising fears of another economy-shattering lockdown. Even after an earlier, year-long lockdown failed to prove more than marginally successful while damaging countless families and lives through economic stress.
As we write this short piece, circa 2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrials are off 418 points, give or take, for a 1.2% loss at the moment. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which looked good at the opening bell, has once again resumed its continuing decline. It’s down 173 points at the moment for a 1.7% loss. Finally, the broad-based S&P 500 is off 47 points for a decline of just over 1%.
(UPDATE: Things improved a bit near Tuesday’s closing bell but not enough to push stocks back into the green zone. The Dow closed at 35343.28, off 282.12 points for a loss of 0.79% on the day. The tech-heavy NASDAQ took another beating, closing at 14656.18, down 137.58 points for a 0.93 loss on the day. And the broader-based S&P 500 struggled to close at 4448.08, off 31.63 points for a 0.71% loss on the day. We’ll have to wait and see if the buying we saw in many issues at the close will carry over and perk things up on Wednesday.)
All in all, it’s a horrible day thus far, but no cause for alarm. Yet. But say, didn’t the Biden Interregnum tell us that last Friday when asked about Afghanistan and the Taliban?
The Covid propaganda continues. To mask? Or not to mask?
Many things, including Afghanistan, fuel prices, retail sales numbers (surprisingly bad) and the mystical intentions of the Federal reserve trouble Mr Market today. But weighing ever more heavily on market sentiment is the ongoing Covid propaganda put out by the CDC and a crisis-crazed media. Both collusionists remain desperate as they continue to terrify the public about the WuFlu now that they no longer have President Trump to kick around.
The burning issue? To mask? Or not to mask? That is the question. And it will forever remain a question due to more Biden ineptitude, this time via the utterly discredited bureaucrats running the essentially worthless CDC.
That bumbling fool known as Dr Fauci (or perhaps Dr Faustus?) has now likely flip-flopped on the Covid story probably more times than both Clintons together flip-flopped on a host of political issues. Fauci can’t stand to miss even a moment of face time on TV. And every time he appears, he reverses his last politically (not medically) motivated stand on Covid issues. That’s particularly true with his whirling dervish of contradictory opinions concerning whether to mask. Or not. It’s all just more Covid propaganda. And today’s directives could easily change again tomorrow.
Who actually believes Fauci or the CDC any more? People are starting to lose confidence in the truthfulness of Federal agencies and Washington in general. The consistently inconsistent CDC has become a big motivating factor for this distrust, given the endless barrage of eminently reversible Covid propaganda they and CNN continue to toss out.
The likely truth about the Deadly Covid Menace
As this writer has stated firmly in this column and on other social media sites, Covid is here for a permanent stay. Sadly, so is all the never-ending Covid propaganda.
The likely truth is this. Free, annually reformulated Covid vaccinations will be available annually for all that want or need them. Just as they have been for decades for the flu. Deaths will happen every year due to complications from both. They will mostly carry off the elderly and the vulnerable. Which is tragic. But a sad medical fact. Yet life will go on. As it has with the flu for decades. That’s something that rarely makes headlines any more.
Which means that freaking out, led by the media’s Covid propaganda efforts is fast becoming a waste of time. They’ll trumpet that propaganda every calendar quarter or two, terrorizing the American public every time some new, Greek-lettered twist on Covid shows up (which it will). This is already beyond a waste of time, a waste of our economic and wage earning power, and above all a waste of our children’s education. (Assuming that’s not already being wasted in your school district by intrepid Commies manning the CRT Brigades.)
Don’t believe me? How about Scott Gottleib?
“Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday that the coronavirus in the U.S. will become an endemic virus after the recent surge in delta cases calms down.
“The former FDA chief said the peak of the delta surge in the U.S. will likely be in late September, hitting Northern states after rates slow down in the South.
“‘Hopefully we’ll be on the other side of it or coming on the other side of it sometime in November, and we won’t see a big surge of infection after this on the other side of this delta wave,’ he said.”
There you go. A new word to replace that stupidly overused media and Fauci favorite: “pandemic.” Like the flu, Covid-19 Etc is now “endemic.” Just like the flu. So we’ll deal with it. By going back to work and school. Without stupid masks that rarely if ever worked anyway. Except as virtue-signaling and control devices. (Which ultimately was and is the real point.)
About stocks today: McClellan Oscillator…
Pretty much every sector continues to take a beating Tuesday afternoon. The market may close down worse than our current read in this article. Or better.
But our favorite charts don’t look so hot. Monday’s McClellan Oscillator, after mounting several failed attempts at a convincing rally over the last several trading days, finally gave up Monday and dropped below the zero line on the X-axis, indicating the bears have at least temporarily taken control. The action we’re citing appears toward the right side of the current chart. (Charts courtesy Stockcharts.com)
Since this chart only gets an update after each day’s close, we don’t have a read yet today. But judging from the action thus far, we expect to see a sharp spike down for Tuesday once the latest revision appears.
…and the VIX
Meanwhile, after showing benign tendencies over the last few trading days – tendencies that put the bulls to sleep – today’s constantly updated VIX market volatility chart took a spike up today, indicating we may be in at least short term trouble again. You can see the Monday “stall” in VIX direction and the following spike up in the black and red bars to the extreme right of the following chart.
Any stock buys on the horizon?
Our fairly large position in Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLD)has been hit for two days running. But this is a volatile stock that few bulls seem able to understand, as we explained in an earlier piece. Current slippage may give new investors time to get in before this newly vertically integrated steelmaker begins its next move up. Our position right now remains on the plus side. But do your own due diligence before investing if you have any interest. We post our “trading diary” here, and don’t make recommendations.
Our other favorite position right now, defense and aviation contractor and manufacturer General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) has also slipped today. We consider it a buy the further it gets below $200 per share, which it’s doing right now. But again, our pick, our holding, but your due diligence responsibility.
GD’s HQ is right down the street from us in northern Virginia (all the better for staying in touch with the company’s government and DoD clients) and (perhaps not coincidentally) its balance sheet has begun to improve. This is one of those stocks that’s pretty expensive for the average investor (like this columnist). So it’s one we acquire one or two shares at a time, and usually only on down days. (To get a better price).
Near the closing bell…
Today is just another of this summer doldrum down days. This has become a typical feature of recent Augusts. The ceaseless Covid propaganda just makes things worse.
But, since we worry there might be a few more Covid-induced down days this week, we don’t have an itch to pull the buy-trigger right now. Tomorrow, we may see if that fleeting judgment was the right bet. Or not.
Otherwise, we continue to hold a considerable number of issues – mostly high-interest preferred stocks that are getting wobbly in this iffy interest rate environment. But we don’t feel a great urge to add to our positions today. The market looks ugly and doesn’t inspire much confidence at the moment.
Anyway, have a good afternoon and evening. We’ll be back to fight another battle with Mr Market on the morrow.