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Delta panic porn lingering on Wall Street? Or just pre-holiday malaise?

Written By | Jul 1, 2021
Delta panic porn, malaise, September decline, ignoring the headlines

Cartoon by Al Goodwyn. Used with permission.

WASHINGTON – Yawn! Wednesday proved as boring as Tuesday on Wall Street. And Thursday’s action as of the noon hour, July 1, looks just as dull. Stocks continue their patternless trading habit. And volume continues to wane in anticipation of Sunday’s July 4 Independence Day holiday. (Celebrated on Wall Street with a day off on July 5.) But the media’s relentless Covid-19 Delta panic porn fear mongering continues polluting stock market patterns during this pre-July 4 holiday trading week. And that helps to make Thursday the likely third dull day in a row for investors. Market averages are once again, as of 1:30 p.m. ET, either up or down a paltry 0.25% or thereabouts.

But back to our topic at hand, which echoes our Tuesday column. It’s truly weird how, sometimes, unfounded balderdash infects the investing world with fear and / or malaise. It’s time to party at the beach and on the NYSE. But the scaremongers who gave us the Lost Year of 2020 seem eager to go for a double play. This time, they’re deploying the guaranteed-to-be-fatal Delta variant of Covid-19. Yet it’s just one of a likely endless chain of “terrifying” new variants. But we’ll continue to see more until the American left finds some other stupid meme to promote.

You can see, by looking at Tuesday’s closing McClellan Oscillator chart below, that yesterday’s Delta panic porn let all the air out of this week’s early rally.

Delta panic porn

McClellan Oscillator, COF June 29, 2021. Courtesy Stockcharts.com, a subscription service to which this writer subscribes.

Delta panic porn blues

Here’s some acidic commentary from ZeroHedge’s twin Tylers, whose term “panic porn” added some luster to our headline today. And whose equally negative reflections on the same also graced our previous column.




“… Delta is literally the flu with a CFR [Case Fatality Rate] identical to it. This is exactly what every respiratory pandemic has done through history: morphed into more transmissible and less virulent form that forces the other mutations out since you get that one. Nothing about masks, lockdowns, or experimental shots did this. To the extent this really is more transmissible, it’s going to be less deadly, as is the case with the common cold. To the extent that there are areas below the herd immunity threshold (for example, in Scotland and the northwestern parts of the U.K.) they will likely get the Delta variant (until something else supplants it), but fatalities will continue to go down.

“That being said, the US isn’t the only country falling victim to the Delta variant hysteria. Reports published Wednesday morning claimed EU leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron were planning to hold a call to discuss more potential travel restrictions. It’s increasingly looking like anybody with international travel plans might see them dashed due to Delta paranoia.”

Looks bad. But pockets of sanity survive. And those few sane voices are likely to have great appeal to, at least, an American public that’s sick of being treated a bunch of dumb, feudal plebeians.

Now, back to the Tylers.

“But not everybody has been fooled. As we pointed out yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul has been one of the most vocal critics of the ‘Delta’ variant hysteria. In a tweet sent yesterday morning, he urged the public not to let the fear mongers win.

“Though judging by the sea of red on Wall Street Wednesday morning, it looks like most haven’t taken his advice.

“And don’t forget … if this wave of fear mongering fizzles, there are still plenty of other letters in the Greek alphabet that can be used to provoke paranoia.”

So a hat tip to the consistently sane Dr. Paul for telling the truth. Again. Meanwhile, let’s leave the Greek letter stuff to the global-warming crazed meteorologists so they can assign Greek letters once again to the likely dozens of “climate change” generated hurricanes we’ll be breathtakingly treated to all summer. For sure.

If we listen to Dr Paul, perhaps we can shut out the constant, restrictive hysteria and leave economic ruination to the Eurojerks. At which point we can get back to paying attention to our investments. Maybe next Tuesday, when the market opens after a long weekend, investors will find it within themselves to clear out the cobwebs and start playing the game again.

More reason for market malaise

Here’s a slightly different take on Mr Market’s mood from the Wall Street Journal’s Akane Otani. (No link, behind the WSJ paywall, but appearing in the July 1 print issue, page A1).

“The mood should be ebullient. Data on everything from hiring to consumer spending to small business-owners’ confidence have bounced back and stayed above their pandemic lows.ting, delivered to your email inbox.



“These days, ‘nothing really gets killed, but nothing really does that great,’ said Andrew Slimmon, a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. ‘There’s no definable trend, [and] there’s little agreement in the market.’

“Investors are heading into the second half of the year weighing whether a recent acceleration in inflation is shaping up to be transitory, or the start of a longer-term trend that might force the Federal Reserve to pick up its pace of interest-rate increases.”

Slimmon would seem to agree with our assessment of the aimless meandering evident in this summer’s market action. But while some of us are suspicious of this lull in an arguably overextended market, we seem to be in a minority, at least for now.

Optimists remain, despite ongoing malaise, worsened by lingering Delta panic porn

In fact, most analysts continue to paint a bright picture of 2021’s ongoing recovery. Only even more stupid policies from the Biden Interregnum will be able to rub the irrational exuberance out, assuming the bulls can get it going again. The apparently final derailment of the Keystone XL pipeline has semi-permanently jacked up the cost of oil and gas once again. This was also a feature, not a bug, of the disastrous Obama Years.

But pretty much everything else seems good to go. But only if the government and the media would stop spreading constantly negative fake, news about how we’re all going to die. We’re not. How do we know this?

For those who follow such things, the National Activity Index, charted by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank folks, gave us the third month in a row of positive economic data, factored in on a rolling 12-month basis. Sources tell us that that rolling average has come in negative since April of 2019, as the previous mini-bull cycle decided to take a rest before Covid killed it entirely.

In other words, things could be good if all the idiots in New York, D.C., L.A., and other “intellectual hubs” would just shut up and get out of the way instead of trying to manipulate not only American lives and investments, but national emotions as well.

That’s about all we have to say right now. For the moment, we continue to snug up a position here, eliminate a dysfunctional one there. But, by and large, we continue to avoid any major commitments until some of the largely manipulated political and medical smoke clears. And the interest rate smoke, too, for that matter.

See you Friday, assuming we can find some actual financial news worth reporting.

 

Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17