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Weekly Market Review

Weekly Market Review

Good afternoon,

 

You never know. You just never know. What I mean is that some weeks I write the WMR and the words flow fast and free and I finish in no time. Other weeks I struggle for days and days to get my thoughts on the pixels of an email.  Some weeks I think that the content is “Gold Jerry, Gold!” and I expect lot of comments, yet I’ll get crickets. And sometimes the weeks where I’m less satisfied with my own opinions generate the most replies. For whatever reasons, last week’s message got many more hits on LinkedIn than it usually gets. I post the WMR to LinkedIn each week and we also post it to our very own website, www.weeklymarketreview.com Sometimes we get lots of interest and sometimes we get nothing. Not sure why, but last week we got interest. BTW, if you’re a WMR subscriber and not connected to me on LinkedIn, please reach out and let’s connect, https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-acho-3a891327/  Also, feel free to forward the WMR to anyone you think might be interested, it is always approved for public distribution. I’d love to have this go viral and continue our discussions with a wider audience.  And feel free to reply if you’d like. Send me an email back or reply on LinkedIn. I know that not everyone agrees with my commentary all the time and that’s fine. I’m trying to present my opinion, the reasons for it and open a discussion. Did I say something particularly brilliant and insightful last week?  Well probably, just like every other week, but maybe not. Maybe everyone is just so bored with corona/covid news that they didn’t mind something different for a change.

 

In the news this week, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. JC Penney is the latest company to file bankruptcy, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/15/jc-penney-is-planning-to-file-for-bankruptcy-in-the-next-day.html

They join companies like Pier One Imports, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Gold’s Gym and others. https://www.businessinsider.com/retailers-filed-bankruptcy-liquidation-closing-stores-2020-2#neiman-marcus-filed-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-on-may-7-citing-inexorable-pressure-from-the-coronavirus-pandemic-11

No doubt that these companies were in trouble before the covid crisis, but the crisis certainly accelerated their downfall.

 

And we can expect more bad news to come. There will be millions of businesses that will not reopen after being closed for 2 months or longer. There will be millions of others that may try, but probably won’t make it either. If your favorite restaurant tries to open but are told that they can only use every fourth table or whatever due to new social distancing rules, how will that work? I use restaurants as an example because that is already a notoriously difficult business. If new rules say that they can only operate at 25 or 50% capacity, how will they survive? Can they survive? Will they have to double their prices to make up for the loss? Who knows. How, and when, will my gym reopen? Will I have to make an appointment for a workout? Will I have to wear a mask? Will they spread the machines further apart? There is a 77 y/o barber here in MI who dared to defy the rules and keep his shop open. The attorney general closed him down and suspended his license. Is that right? https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8323151/Michigan-barber-77-license-revoked-defying-Gov-Whitmers-coronavirus-lockdown.html

 

I used that story in a discussion with my son the other day. If a barber wants to stay open, and his clients want to come there, and they agree on whatever conditions are necessary, masks, gloves, etc. then why can’t they do that transaction? If you’re a barber and you don’t want to open, you don’t have to and if you’re a client and you don’t want to participate, you don’t have to. But if you’re a barber and you do want to open, and you and your clients agree as to the terms of the encounter, should that be prohibited? It won’t come as a surprise and I’ll probably take some heat for this stance, but I have to question the way the lockdown is being handled. It was brought to my attention last week that I am deficient in medical training so I perhaps I don’t understand the way viruses work, which is of course true. And I’m not in any way trying to minimize the health impact of the problem, but I’m not deficient in economic training and I can see the damage being caused by the mandatory lockdowns. Much of it will be irreparable. Not to mention the damage to our freedom as individuals to make our own decisions. I’m just wondering out loud what post pandemic life will look like.

 

In more positive news, green shoots of activity continue to appear.

https://www.ftportfolios.com/retail/blogs/Economics/index.aspx

TSA checkins are up. Hotel occupancy is up. Even box office receipts are up. Not sure that movie theaters, other than old fashioned drive-ins are open, but someone is going. Granted, all those measures were at nearly zero last month so any increase is big in percentage terms, but this is good news.

 

Major league sports are starting to plan their returns. https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/29011029/coronavirus-impacted-schedules

Likely without fans in attendance, at least for a while, but this is good news.

 

Finally, for those of you who caught my Seinfeld reference above, he’s got a new Netflix special that just came out. https://www.netflix.com/title/80170847

It’s funny. Not laugh out loud until your sides hurt funny, but it is funny. BTW, did you know that Seinfeld is 65 y/o? I was surprised to learn that.

 

LF26 – “I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anything - which as you know, always leads to something - cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything.” – Jerry Seinfeld

 

Have a great week and stay healthy.

 

The opinions expressed are those of Michael Acho and not necessarily those of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.  CRN-3088574-051520

 

 

Michael J. Acho, MBA, CFP®
Private Wealth Advisor
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Lincoln Financial Advisors/Sagemark Consulting
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Southfield, MI  48075
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Michael.Acho@LFG.com

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