Looking at the weather map this morning … trying to plan the weekend … it appears that a storm is heading our way. But some economists … who base their assessments on data rather than clouds … probably feel the storm has already arrived.
The GDP number came out this morning and is … in a word … shocking. The decline in our economic activity was … on an annualized basis … 32.9% … and is cited as the worst quarterly decline in U.S. history. On top of that, the number of people filing first time claims for unemployment was over 1 million for the 19th straight week. Yikes!
In the face of just these economic numbers, there should be little wonder why the Dow is down almost 400 points at the moment.
As if this wasn’t enough … we still have the virus to contend with … and the number of deaths, which have been heading downward, suddenly spiked up. On Tuesday, reports showed the worst recording of fatalities since the end of May … and yesterday the toll jumped even above that sad number of the day before.
Still there is a battle going on with some not accepting or believing that masks are effective. And I try to stay out of politics (unsuccessfully) but one member of congress caught the virus and – as a past opponent of masks – is telling people he may have caught it because of his wearing a mask. Sadly I imagine that some will hear his comments … agree … and decide to go without their “virus-causing mask” … with all this in the face of medical experts telling us we risk another shutdown if recommendations are not followed.
And now we even have Dr. Fauci advising us to wear goggles too.
I don’t enjoy arguing with people about masks. I do realize debate is futile and reading about it so often seems to be affecting my eyesight.
I’ll probably only continue my mask debate until I have to wear glasses.
Have a great day,
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915
… as of 11:21 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Here we are with 19 consecutive weeks of over 1 million initial jobless claims. So far this V-shaped looks more like a W (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/30/weekly-jobless-claims.html
... and the GDP number just announced casts a somber tone for those optimists waiting for the sun to appear. This has been the worst quarter since World War II (The Guardian)https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jul/30/us-gdp-economy-worst-quarter-covid-19-unemployment
How do we handle the spike in recent virus cases? Some in the medical field have the view that we should shut down and start over (NPR)https://www.npr.org/2020/07/29/896603053/as-covid-19-cases-surge-health-professionals-urge-a-shutdown-do-over
... but things are not so easy for those with kids at home and a paycheck on which they depend. Even without a shutdown some face a hard decision on how to work yet keep kids at home (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/us/colorado-single-mom-schools-reopening/index.html
The story has shifted a bit and Dr. Fauci recommends adding goggles to your daily wardrobe. With the backlash seen over masks, you can be sure this isn't going to catch on (ABCNews)https://abcnews.go.com/US/dr-fauci-wear-goggles-eye-shields-prevent-spread/story?id=72059055
There is no shortage of headlines that grab our attention so it is easy to miss this sad story ... as it is written that 30 million in the U.S. didn't have enough to eat last week (MSN)https://www.msn.com/en-us/Finance/markets/almost-30-million-in-us-didn-e2-80-99t-have-enough-to-eat-last-week/ar-BB17ldBN