Author Archive for ilene

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

 

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

By John Mauldin and Mike Roizen, MD 

Should you wear a mask in public? This seemingly simple question immediately generates emotional, political, and social anxiety.

It is just one of many provocative questions COVID-19 is forcing upon us. They should be simple, data-driven policy issues but many are not.

Today’s letter is in a different format from the usual Thoughts from the Frontline. As long-time readers know, I am in frequent (and lately almost daily) contact with Dr. Mike Roizen, emeritus head of wellness at the famous Cleveland Clinic, member of the Cleveland Clinic’s leadership team, and author of many books which, thanks to Oprah (he was her doc), have together sold 28 million hard copies. Today we write a joint letter to you. It may be controversial, but that comes with the territory.

Mike and I became online friends over 15 years ago and then he became my doctor and a good friend. He keeps me healthy and I feed his economic information addiction. A perfectly reasonable symbiotic relationship. We have been sharing information on the coronavirus crisis, on which he is an advisor to several state governments.

So today, we’re going to look at some actual data, both medical and economic. Spoiler alert: The unintended consequences of our response may be more threatening than the actual virus, unless we begin changing some things soon.

Double Effect

We’ll start by looking at both direct effects of the coronavirus, and its secondary effects.

The direct effects come from both the virus itself and—critically important—from people avoiding healthcare because they fear exposure to the virus at a healthcare facility. Studies are beginning to show the latter group may be larger than the former.

Then there are secondary health effects related to our response to the virus. These secondary effects are largely due to the economic consequences. We are seeing both “deaths of despair” and health consequences due to changes in the healthcare system, such as closure of some rural hospitals and the rise of telemedicine. The effects are visible, but the absolute data isn’t.

Another thing we don’t fully understand is regional variation. The virus obviously strikes some…
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WOW, look at this huge setup unfolding in S&P 500. Squeeze the FOMO !!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

If you have FOMO on the stock market you better watch this video because it will make you feel better if what is unfolding is exactly what I have been talking about for the past week. The Short/FOMO Squeeze!



I offer membership services for active traders, long-term investors, and wealth/asset managers.  Each of these services is driven by my own experience and my proprietary trading systems and modeling systems.  I have a small team of dedicated researchers and developers that do nothing but research and find trading signals for my members.  Our objective is to help you protect and grow your wealth.

Please take a moment to visit www.TheTechnicalTraders.com to learn more.  I can’t say it any better than this…  I want to help you create success while helping you protect and preserve your wealth – it’s that simple.

Chris Vermeulen

Chief Market Stragist

Founder of Technical Traders Ltd.





Adelaide Capital and Technical Trader

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Deborah Honig of Adelaide Capital and CEO of Technical Traders Ltd., Chris Vermeulen, share their perspectives on why they feel silver is on the cusp of making some big moves.

 



 

Adelaide Capital is putting on a special silver event. Check out the Silver Week Conference June 11, 2020 https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__GiM6VCeQeGyiFJxYhm7Ow

I offer membership services for active traders, long-term investors, and wealth/asset managers.  Each of these services is driven by my own experience and my proprietary trading systems and modeling systems.  I have a small team of dedicated researchers and developers that do nothing but research and find trading signals for my members.  Our objective is to help you protect and grow your wealth.

Please take a moment to visit www.TheTechnicalTraders.com to learn more.  I can’t say it any better than this…  I want to help you create success while helping you protect and preserve your wealth – it’s that simple.

Chris Vermeulen

Chief Market Stragist

Founder of Technical Traders Ltd.





10% of jobs lost due to the virus have come back in May

 

10% of jobs lost due to the virus have come back in May

Courtesy of 

Wall Street Journal:

The May U.S. jobless rate fell to 13.3% and employers added 2.5 million jobs, early signs the labor market is mending after the coronavirus pandemic shut down parts of the economy nearly three months ago.

“These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” the Labor Department said Friday in a release.

Josh here – that 13.3% rate for May is an improvement from April’s 14.7% rate. Of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April combined, we’ve gained back slightly over 10% of them in the last month as states have slowly begun to reopen.

Some details on the bond market’s reaction via Peter Boockvar:

Treasuries are getting smashed with now a 12 bps increase in the 10 yr yield to .95%, now up 40 bps on the week. What does this all mean for the Fed now? Do we really need all of their largess as the economy rebounds on its own? The 10 yr inflation breakeven is up by 5 bps to 1.26%, just below the highest level since early March.

The curve is steepening, which is good for lending and market psychology and, presumably, bank stocks.

Here’s a quick glance at both the 10 year/ 3 month and the 10 year/ 2 year Treasury yield curves:

You can see a big improvement from the inversions that took place during the last week of February, when recession became obvious to market participants. On an absolute basis, a 10-year yield hovering below 1% is not indicative of a strengthening economy, but it’s doubled from the lows of early March, when it printed .49%.

Yesterday, the state of New York recorded zero deaths from COVID-19. None.

All of this is encouraging news. The stock market has obviously been front-running it for weeks, which is how it’s supposed to work. Too much? We’ll see.

 





“We are overreacting because if it looks like you’re overreacting, you’re probably doing the right thing”

 

“We are overreacting because if it looks like you’re overreacting, you’re probably doing the right thing”

Courtesy of 

“We are overreacting because if it looks like you’re overreacting, you’re probably doing the right thing.”

That’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci on Sunday, March 15th.

He is, of course, speaking about the health crisis, but I think there is an investment and business corollary to this that is important to mention.

The US stock market has just completed the best 50-day period of returns, well, ever. The best fifty days of all time. It’s in the books as of yesterday’s close. Stocks have gained 39.6% from March 23rd according to LPL’s Ryan Detrick, an unrivaled run for the ages.

Does that mean that anything you did in March to hedge your portfolio was wrong? Or that anything you did to try to protect your business was wrong? Only if you possessed a time machine and knew what the stock market would look like by June. And, or course, no one did.

One concept that had been repeated again and again by Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, Governor Cuomo, etc was that if we’re successful, it will look like we overreacted in hindsight.

I think the same could be said for investors and business owners who did what they thought they had to in the early stages. If you sold 10% of your stocks in late March in order to better sleep at night, it’s not relevant to look at the last fifty days and then say “That was a mistake.” Not necessarily, it wasn’t. You did what you needed to do to make it to now.

I feel the same way about some decisions I made with my household’s finances and on behalf of my firm. I didn’t expect the best fifty day stock market of all time to be the end result of the worst pandemic in 100 years. I can’t go back in time to tell myself what things are like now.

We are always either over- or under-reacting


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Trump’s use of religion follows playbook of authoritarian-leaning leaders the world over

 

Trump's use of religion follows playbook of authoritarian-leaning leaders the world over

Donald Trump poses with Bible at a moment of national crisis. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Laura R. Olson, Clemson University

It was a striking moment: Donald Trump, Bible in hand, posing for photos in an apparent moment of political theater made possible by the dispersal of protesters through the use of tear gas.

The president’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church, known as “the Church of the Presidents,” came immediately after giving a Rose Garden speech framing himself as “your president of law and order” and threatening to send federal troops to “restore security and safety in America.” The next day, Trump made another high-profile visit to a place of worship, this time Washington’s St. John Paul II National Shrine.

Coming at a time of social turbulence, critics accused Trump of following authoritarian-leaning world leaders by sidling up to religion to reinforce an image as a strongman defending a particular brand of tradition. Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington Mariann Budde said as much, commenting that Trump used the Bible at St. John’s “as if it were a prop or an extension of his military and authoritarian position.”

As a scholar who has researched the interaction of politics and faith for decades, I know how potent religion can be as a political tool.

A powerful tool

Religion creates meaning in our lives by articulating values about how we relate to one another. But just as it can unite us, religion can also be a source of division – used to “other” people who are not of the faith and don’t share the same traditions and rituals.

When enough people perceive – or can be convinced – that traditional elements of the social fabric are at risk, religious signaling through the use of symbols and images can help would-be authoritarians cement their power. They present themselves as protectors of the faith and foes of any outsider who threatens tradition.

Russian


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Scientists tap the world’s most powerful computers in the race to understand and stop the coronavirus

 

Scientists tap the world's most powerful computers in the race to understand and stop the coronavirus

It takes a tremendous amount of computing power to simulate all the components and behaviors of viruses and cells. Thomas Splettstoesser scistyle.com, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of Jeremy Smith, University of Tennessee

In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, the haughty supercomputer Deep Thought is asked whether he can find the answer to the ultimate question concerning life, the universe and everything. He replies that, yes, he can do it, but it’s tricky and he’ll have to think about it. When asked how long it will take him he replies, “Seven-and-a-half million years. I told you I’d have to think about it.”

Real-life supercomputers are being asked somewhat less expansive questions but tricky ones nonetheless: how to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re being used in many facets of responding to the disease, including to predict the spread of the virus, to optimize contact tracing, to allocate resources and provide decisions for physicians, to design vaccines and rapid testing tools and to understand sneezes. And the answers are needed in a rather shorter time frame than Deep Thought was proposing.

The largest number of COVID-19 supercomputing projects involves designing drugs. It’s likely to take several effective drugs to treat the disease. Supercomputers allow researchers to take a rational approach and aim to selectively muzzle proteins that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, needs for its life cycle.

The viral genome encodes proteins needed by the virus to infect humans and to replicate. Among these are the infamous spike protein that sniffs out and penetrates its human cellular target, but there are also enzymes and molecular machines that the virus forces its human subjects to produce for it. Finding drugs that can bind to these proteins and stop them from working is a logical way to go.

The Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second – equivalent to about a million laptops. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of


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BlackRock Authored the Bailout Plan Before There Was a Crisis – Now It’s Been Hired by three Central Banks to Implement the Plan

Courtesy of Pam Martens

BlackRock Authors of “Going Direct.” Top, left to right: Stanley Fischer, Philipp Hildebrand. Bottom, left to right: Jean Boivin, Elga Bartsch.

BlackRock Authors of “Going Direct.” Top, left to right: Stanley Fischer, Philipp Hildebrand. Bottom, left to right: Jean Boivin, Elga Bartsch.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

It’s called “Going Direct.” That’s the financial bailout plan designed and authored by former central bankers now on the payroll at BlackRock, an  investment manager of $7 trillion in stock and bond funds. The plan was rolled out in August 2019 at the G7 summit of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – months before the public was aware of any financial crisis. One month later, on September 17, 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin an emergency repo loan bailout program, making hundreds of billions of dollars a week in loans by “going direct” to the trading houses on Wall Street.

The BlackRock plan calls for blurring the lines between government fiscal policy and central bank monetary policy – exactly what the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve are doing today in the United States. BlackRock has now been hired by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, and Sweden’s central bank, Riksbank, to implement key features of the plan. Three of the authors of the BlackRock plan previously worked as central bankers in the U.S., Canada and Switzerland, respectively.

The authors wrote in the white paper that “in a downturn the only solution is for a more formal – and historically unusual – coordination of monetary and fiscal policy to provide effective stimulus.”

We now understand why, for the first time in history, the U.S. Congress handed over $454 billion of taxpayers’ money to the Fed, without any meaningful debate, to eat losses on toxic assets produced by the Wall Street banks it supervises. The Fed plans to leverage the $454 billion into a $4.54 trillion bailout plan, “going direct” with bailouts to the commercial paper market, money market funds, and a host of other markets.

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Why the US dollar remains crucial for Hong Kong’s economic prosperity

 

Why the US dollar remains crucial for Hong Kong’s economic prosperity

Dan Freeman on Unsplash, CC BY

Courtesy of Damian Tobin, University College Cork

Increasing economic tensions between the US and China continue to threaten Hong Kong’s economy. China’s proposed national security law will see greater controls over areas such as secessionist activities, terrorism and foreign interference. Similarly, the announcement by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, that Hong Kong should no longer be viewed as independent from China could undermine Hong Kong’s longstanding role as an intermediary between China and the rest of the world.

But one important pillar of Hong Kong’s economy remains unchanged and outside of Chinese government control – its currency, which is pegged to the US dollar via a currency board. This could have significant benefits for the city as it tries to deal with pressing socioeconomic challenges. But this also requires more public spending from the special administrative region’s government.

Since its introduction, the currency peg has withstood a variety of challenges – from the UK handover of Hong Kong back to China, to attacks from speculators. But it has often resulted in the Hong Kong government adopting an overly conservative approach to spending. Although the peg gives Hong Kong a considerable financial buffer, successive governments have tended towards fiscal conservatism. Public spending has rarely exceeded 20% of GDP since the 1997 handover.

Bad timing and poor management

Hong Kong is struggling to deal with sluggish economic growth and myriad socioeconomic challenges, not least increasing levels of poverty and a high level of inequality. The city was poised to benefit from legislation passed by the US senate which could force Chinese companies to delist from the US stock exchange. This would make Hong Kong the natural route for Chinese companies seeking to access overseas funds – something the city’s financial markets have long provided. But the new national security law and Pompeo’s comments will make Hong Kong less attractive.

Many of the challenges now facing Hong Kong have their roots in decades of mismanaged prosperity. Yet they do not necessarily threaten the US dollar peg.…
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Compare the flu pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19 with caution – the past is not a prediction

 

Compare the flu pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19 with caution – the past is not a prediction

A pandemic from a century ago doesn’t necessarily chart the course of the pandemic happening now. National Photo Company Collection/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, CC BY

Courtesy of Mari Webel, University of Pittsburgh and Megan Culler Freeman, University of Pittsburgh

People have turned to historical experience with influenza pandemics to try to make sense of COVID-19, and for good reason.

Influenza and coronavirus share basic similarities in the way they’re transmitted via respiratory droplets and the surfaces they land on. Descriptions of H1N1 influenza patients in 1918-19 echo the respiratory failure of COVID-19 sufferers a century later. Lessons from efforts to mitigate the spread of flu in 1918-19 have justifiably guided this pandemic’s policies promoting nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as physical distancing and school closures.

Current discussions about scaling back social distancing measures and “opening up” the country frequently refer to “waves” of disease that characterized the dramatic mortality of H1N1 influenza in three major peaks in 1918-19. As COVID-19 rates begin to steady in some parts of the U.S., people today are nervously eyeing the “second wave” of influenza that came in autumn 1918, that pandemic’s deadliest period.

Three waves of death during the pandemic: weekly combined influenza and pneumonia mortality, United Kingdom, 1918–1919. The waves were broadly the same globally. Taubenberger JK, Morens DM. 1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006;12(1):15-22., CC BY

Waves evoke predictability, however, and COVID-19 has been hard to predict. Despite the valuable lessons drawn from past influenza outbreaks, how pandemic influenza struck in 1918 isn’t a template for what will happen with COVID-19 in the coming months.

As a historian and a virologist, we believe this comparison of two pandemics has contributed to public confusion about what to expect from “flattening the curve.” Key divergences in the sociopolitical contexts of 1918-19 and now, in addition to clear virologic differences between influenza and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,…
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Zero Hedge

Orphaned Silver Is Finding Its Parent

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com,

This article examines the prospects for silver, which has been overlooked in favour of gold. Due to the economic and monetary consequences of the coronavirus lockdowns and the earlier turning of the credit cycle, there is an increasing likelihood of a severe and sustained downturn that will require far more monetary expansion to deal with, favouring the prospects of both gold and silver returning to their former monetary roles.

...

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Phil's Favorites

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

 

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

By John Mauldin and Mike Roizen, MD 

Should you wear a mask in public? This seemingly simple question immediately generates emotional, political, and social anxiety.

It is just one of many provocative questions COVID-19 is forcing upon us. They should be simple, data-driven policy issues but many are not.

Today’s letter is in a different format from the usual Thoughts from the Frontline. As long-time readers know, I am in frequent (and lately almost daily) contact with Dr. Mike Roizen, emeritus head of wellness at the famous Cleveland Clinic, member of the Cleveland Clinic’s leadership team, and author of many books which, thanks ...



more from Ilene

Biotech/COVID-19

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

 

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

By John Mauldin and Mike Roizen, MD 

Should you wear a mask in public? This seemingly simple question immediately generates emotional, political, and social anxiety.

It is just one of many provocative questions COVID-19 is forcing upon us. They should be simple, data-driven policy issues but many are not.

Today’s letter is in a different format from the usual Thoughts from the Frontline. As long-time readers know, I am in frequent (and lately almost daily) contact with Dr. Mike Roizen, emeritus head of wellness at the famous Cleveland Clinic, member of the Cleveland Clinic’s leadership team, and author of many books which, thanks ...



more from Biotech/COVID-19

The Technical Traders

WOW, look at this huge setup unfolding in S&P 500. Squeeze the FOMO !!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

If you have FOMO on the stock market you better watch this video because it will make you feel better if what is unfolding is exactly what I have been talking about for the past week. The Short/FOMO Squeeze!

I offer membership services for active traders, long-term investors...



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ValueWalk

Warning Signs: Too Big To Fail Stocks In 2020!

By Sven Carlin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In 2008 banks were too big to fail! In 2020, stocks might be too big too fail! We discuss the financialization of the economy, how household wealth is impacted by financial engineering and low interest rates force people to invest. This all leads to stocks being hot and discussed by many, cheap brokers like Robinhood add to the party. Usually, it would be a huge warning sign for the stock market, but today it might be indicating that stocks are too big to fail.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

With stocks being $28 trillion of american wealth, or 23%, it is hard to imagine the FED letting ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is the 39 Year Treasury Bond Bull Market Over?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

10 Year US Treasury Bond Yield “inverted” Chart

This chart should look familiar, as I’ve shared and updated it a few times to alert clients and readers.

It is the 10 Year US Treasury Yield Chart… inverted.

As you know, bond yields and price move in opposite directions. So this is a way to analyze and think about bonds. And as I’ve pointed out before, inverted charts can also reduce bias.

As you can see, bond yields created the largest reversal pattern in decades. When inverted (as this chart is), yields look like bond prices. So this is action is very bearish for bond prices on a long-term historic...



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Chart School

Silver volume says something is near boiling point

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Fundamentals are important, but they must show up in the chart. And when they do and if they may matter, it is a good sign if price and volume waves show a change of character.

The Point and Figure chart below is readtheticker.com version of PnF chart format, it is designed to highlight price and volume waves clearly (notice the Volume Hills chart).

Silver ETF volume is screaming at us! The price volatility along with volume tells us those who have not cared, are starting to, those who are wrong are adjusting, and those who are correct are loading up. Soon the kettle will blow and the price of silver will be over $20. 

Normally silver suffers in a recession, maybe this time with trillions of paper money being creat...

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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.