Commentary: Paul Ebeling on Wall Street


Last week

Late Friday, the stock market put up a fight, on the close it was the worst week for equities since late Y 2008, as the S&P 500 (-0.8%) gave back 11.5% since the prior Friday, recording its 7th day running of losses, falling to its lowest level since early October.

DJIA -357.28 at 25409.33, NAS Comp +0.89 at 8567.37, S&P 500 -24.54 at 2954.22

The PHLX Semiconductor Index started the day with a 3.8% loss, reversed flashing a 2.9% gainer in late morning trade, returned to its flat line in the afternoon, then rallied during the final mins of trade to end higher by 2.2%. The final drive helped the NAS Comp into positive territory at the close on heavy volume.

Notable the market reversed after the Fed released a statement saying it stood ready to help the economy if needed. Investors now expect the Fed to cut rates at its next policy meeting in mid-March or earlier, say this Wednesday.

Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore is urging Americans to not be “freaked out and panicked” over stock market losses seemingly triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.

The CBOE volatility index (VIX) Wall Street’s fear gauge finished the day near its session low, up 0.95 pt at 40.11, after rising as high as 49.48.

This week

Economic data this week will play a Key role in helping the Fed assess the damage of the coronavirus on the US economy.

Calls for a rate cut on Wall Street have spiked in recent days due to the contagion.

According to the CME FedWatch tool, the Fed fund futures indicated that investors are almost 95% sure that the Fed will slash interest rates by 50 bpts at its March policy meeting. Just 1 wk ago, the odds were at Zero!

On the virus

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that The Trump Administration has not taken national travel restrictions or mass closures “off the table” due to the coronavirus.

In a TV interview Sunday morning, Secretary Azar said there has not been “sufficient spread in the United States” at this point.

“Right now, it’s important for people to understand we’re not advising any types of particular measures in the United States like travel restrictions or closures,” he said.

“State or local public health offices, which are the frontlines of response, might make their own decisions to do that. But at this point, we do not have sufficient spread in the United States that would indicate those measures. But we’re not taking any of them off the table. The full range of options will always remain on the table.”

Secretary Azar warned the nation will have “more community cases, it is simply just a matter of math,” and that HHS has already tested 3,600 people.

“The risk to average Americans remains low. We are working to keep it low,” he said, adding: “We cannot make predictions as to how many cases we’ll have, but we will have more and we will have more community cases. It’s simply just a matter of math.”

Coronavirus guidance, as follows:

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold

2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.

3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.

4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 ft before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.

5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hrs, so if you come into contact with any metal surface wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.

6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hrs. normal laundry detergent will kill it.

7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.

8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 mins, but a lot can happen during that time you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.

9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.

10. Cannot emphasise enough: drink lots of water!


1. It will 1st infect the throat, so you will have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days

2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.

3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.

4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you are drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

Have a terrific week

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