EQM Indexes Weekly Blog – Getting Back to the “New Normal” 5-4-2020
Parts of the country are starting to open back up as we try to strike a delicate balance between human health, sanity, and economic safety. Here in San Diego, the beaches and parks are open again for limited, individual use (no sunbathing) and the golfers are back on the golf course socially distancing and riding in their own carts.
While it feels good to regain some of our old freedoms, especially as the weather gets warmer and during a time of bioluminescence (see photo below), it is a frightening proposition as well. At least here in San Diego, the enthusiasm is more “toe in the water” than “open the flood gates”. I am a numbers person and watch the numbers daily for any indication that we have gone “too far, too soon”. So far so good, but the next few weeks will be telling here and around the nation.
San Diego is experiencing blue bioluminescent waves caused by algae. Photo credit to my friend Jen Turfler at the Scripps Pier in La Jolla.
News of promising drug results for Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment remdesivir sparked market optimism and an end of month stock market rally. April saw the major indexes posting their best monthly performance since 1987. Small and mid-caps staged a rally last week along with other beaten down segments such as energy and travel. But stocks pulled back toward the end of the week on news that another 3.84 million had filed for unemployment, bringing the six-week tally to 30 million workers or 18% of the total workforce. Facebook and Amazon both reported earnings and beat consensus estimates, a reminder that many companies are still thriving in “stay at home” economy. Still many investors are looking at market valuations and also questioning, have we gone “too far, too soon”?