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There’s not a lot of information moving around in rural communities. Perhaps that’s why the concern doesn’t seem as heightened regarding the virus. But to others, like those living in New York, the concern is real enough.

Everything about the news cycle has become coronavirus, or coronavirus-related. Yet, there’s no substantial change in the day-to-day. It’s back and forth, as indicated below:

C.D.C. Officials Warn of Coronavirus Outbreaks in the U.S.” —“Trump Names Mike Pence to Lead Coronavirus Response” — “Trump Accuses Media of Exaggerating Coronavirus Threat” — “Trump is ignoring the lessons of 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions, historian says” — “Rush Limbaugh on coronavirus: ‘The common cold’ that’s being ‘weaponized’ against Trump” — “Criticisms of Trump’s coronavirus response are sickening” — “‘It’s going to get bad’: As outbreak surges, nation faces tough start to a grim week” —“President Trump wants the U.S. ‘opened’ by April 12”

“Coolin consumer spending, inflation put spotlight on Fed amid coronavirus” — “China’s exports and imports plummet on virus impact” — “Coronavirus crash is a true ‘Black Swan’ as Goldman thought the economy was nearly recession-proof” — “Hotels face drop in occupancy, revenue amid coronavirus outbreak” — “Coronavirus Stimulus Package Spurs a Lobbying Gold Rush” — “Stimulus Check: What We Know” — “Stimulus Plans to Battle  Coronavirus Could Cost the World $10 Trillion” — “Senate falls far short of votes needed to advance coronavirus bill” — “Stimulus package stalls in Senate” — “The Senate is ‘very close’ to reaching a deal” — “In the Most Vulnerable Countries, the Pandemic Rivals the 2008 Crisis” — “Stocks Rally on Hopes for Stimulus Deal”

“New coronavirus cases in mainland China fall to lowest since January” — “Coronavirus may have been in Italy for weeks before it was detected” — “U.S. Olympic Committee says more ‘clarity’ needed for decision on 2020 games” — “A 2020 Olympics Delay Seems Inevitable. Is a 4-Week Decision Needed to Get There?” — “U.S. Olympic Committee says poll shows postponing Olympics is best path” —“Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed”

Weekly Rundown

  • The Outsider… I wanted to watch this show but was waiting. I waited until I heard the Fresh Air interview from Terry Gross with Ben Mendelsohn. I hadn’t known he was Australian. The series is adapted from Stephen King’s novel of the same name and follows the story of a detective investigating a homicide that was committed while the main suspect was sixty miles away on camera. Supernatural and mysterious, the season finale airs this Sunday night on HBO.
  • Super Tuesday. There’s a lot of talk about this day being the day that a clear frontrunner emerges from the primaries. But, where did it come from? This brief history from NPR’s Domenico Montanaro gives the rundown of the term from its start in 1980 and illustrates which elections since then have enjoyed an absence of nomination battles.
  • A quote worth mentioning: “But the traveler’s world is not the ordinary one, for travel itself, even the most commonplace, is an implicit quest for anomaly.” – Paul Fussell
  • Stock Market ups and downs. It’s been an odd couple of weeks, with China being hit hard by the novel coronavirus, and pandemic fears reaching across borders. But, incredibly interesting to watch.
  • And a little bit more from Knives Out director Rian Johnson, this time on why a villain in a movie won’t use an iPhone.

 

Stock Market Crumbles

It’s was a week of heightened concern for investors. While I generally view downturns as an opportunity for reentering the market, I know it can be disconcerting when you watch 10% of your investment balance just disappear.

From the Wall Street Journal: “Investors are bracing for more volatility ahead. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, jumped to 45.67 early Friday, the highest level since at least October 2011. The VIX, which is based on options on the S&P 500, tends to rise when stocks are falling and decline as markets rise.”

Questions as to how bad the Coronavirus spread will be, or what the resulting financial ramifications may do to the economy are running through the newspapers and television networks. When health becomes a concern, it’s easy to forget rationality.

There are things to consider when it comes to selloffs. Most importantly, it’s primarily led by investment bankers who are concerned about the long-term profitability of their holdings given the health concern. It is in no way an admonition about the stability of any individual company. Some industries will face losses in this cycle, but we’ve seen time and again that cyclical losses are to be expected.

While it’s never clear how long something like this might last, it’s good to remember that it can’t last indefinitely.