WASHINGTON –Holy smokes! I’m totally out of Maalox. This was the kind of trading day that tries men’s souls. And Godless processors humming in soulless high-speed machines, as well. In case you didn’t hear, Wall Street laid a massive, coronavirus-infected egg during Thursday’s frantic trading action. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA or “Dow”) suffered its worst point drop ever. Other major averages followed suit. From the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on the NYSE, mournful funeral bells tolled away in investors’ heads and drove them mad with visions of selling and complete capitulation. By the end of the trading day, it was RIP for Mr Market.
Will Mr Market do a Lazarus and pop back up to fight off legions of raging bears? No one can say at the moment. But today, the bearish hordes menaced remaining bulls like the White Walkers menaced our heroes in the final season of Game of Thrones. At least before the writers screwed up the rest of the season.
On second thought… Maybe those writers can row over here. They might construct a script that would do some damage to the political and media clowns who are cheering on the coronavirus scare. There’s some evidence that at least some of these clowns are over-hyping the current stock market horror show in hopes of damaging President Trump’s chances in Election 2020 later this year. It shows you how base some Democrats and their media minions really are. Watch for tomorrow’s scare headlines on the market’s “worst point drop.” Ever.
Is it really RIP for Mr Market?
Hey, don’t take my word for it…
“Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney argued on Thursday that the Democrats’ pushback against President Trump for his messaging on the coronavirus outbreak is fueling panic and driving down the stock market.
“‘What some of the leading Democrats have been saying about the president’s performance on the virus, I think they’ve been creating a level of panic here and that’s not helping the market,” Varney told, “Fox & Friends.’”
“‘If that’s not drumming up some panic, which actually encourages the downside move for the market, I don’t know what is. Politics is a factor,’ Varney said.”
It’s hard to see any other reason why the Democrats and their media toadies are already predicting the imminent demise of all Americans. Other than to plug in some narrative – any narrative – that will derail Trump in November. It shows you just how despicable that party has become.
One unverified story and we’re off to the Investment Racetrack in Hell
Meanwhile, back in Reality Land, it was apparently a Thursday morning notice from America’s left coast that medical officials had discovered a likely coronavirus sufferer in California who exhibited symptoms even though he or she had not recently traveled to and from China. The media immediately declared it the absolute truth, even though medical officials said they had yet to confirm the actual presence of this mystery virus.
That was enough to trigger wave after exhausting wave of selling, not only by individual investors and hedge funds, but by those nefarious high-speed trading computers as well.
From the very start of trading, anyone with a current position in the stock market joined the growing armada of sellers that soon overwhelmed Mr Market with massive, negative attention. A few preferred stocks and one or two medical labs / companies said to be working on a coronavirus vaccine ended the day in the green
Media and politicians flog the same story to make it the perceived truth. But how does this help anything?
The constant flogging of coronavirus fears that politicos and media mavens continue to hurl at an increasingly terrified public has blasted all of 2020’s market gains thus far into utter oblivion. The carnage was worse than Thanos’ notoriously effective finger snap. This political and media-led “snap” is getting close to obliterating the stability of major American corporate giants like Apple, Microsoft and IBM, as well as many of the pharmaceutical companies that are supposed to save us from Beijing’s Red Menace. Maybe it’s because these guys make so much of their stuff in China. But even so, things have been clearly overdone on the sell side.
What we saw today in the market was yet another example of how often real news and fake news narratives influence the price of stocks far more strongly today than traditional evaluation methods like “How did the product work?” Or “What does the company’s chart look like?” Or, “What’s the company’s Price-Earnings (PE) ratio and what kind of dividend does it pay?”
Today, it’s just, “Let’s blast a scary headline out there, and persuade everyone in the media to flog it to death. And then let’s sit back and watch the peons run around like idiots and scare themselves to death.” The result? The worst point drop in recorded market history. And oh, yes: RIP Mr Market.
What’s really true? And when will this horrific selling end? Is RIP Mr Market the end of us all?
The Wuhan coronavirus is a serious problem. We don’t know a lot about it except that it loves to spread rapidly and invisibly in mysterious ways. And sometimes kill people. But beyond that, at least up to this point, it’s mostly hype.
But, like any kind of mania, the constant scare narratives harping on the coronavirus and on the alleged “fact” that “We’re all gonna DIE!” are doing great harm not only to Mr Market, but to this nation’s mental health as well. Yeah, we all know, “If it bleeds, it leads.” But let’s see some commonsense research, analysis and truthful stories and headlines, folks. And not bogus cascades of clickbait that can’t and don’t do much to help the average US citizen learn what’s really going on.
At any rate, at the moment, it’s hard to say anything specific about what to do if you’re still invested in stocks. Everyone is different and has different risk tolerances. So right now, looks like “It’s every (cisgendered) man for himself!”
Battening down the hatches, but staying partially invested
As for yours truly, I’m continuing to judiciously pare down part of my portfolios, but I’m not dumping stocks entirely. We’re already way overdue for at least an abnormally huge dead cat bounce in the Mr Market House of Pain. But as for the selling panic, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” as Yogi Berra once said. And today told us that it probably ain’t over quite yet.
But the bounce is yet to come. And the longer we wait, the bigger it’s likely to be. Assuming everyone in the universe hasn’t completely dumped his or her portfolio, that is. It would be too bad if the speculators and the a-holes have already driven small investors out of stocks just before they reverse course suddenly to make us money once again.
Stay tuned. It’s pretty awful. But the sun’ll come up tomorrow. Or the next day. I think.