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I look at the Good News. There’s plenty. And stocks are on sale

Now for the good news. A history “lesson:”

None of this killed us and the markets roared on. This is Nasdaq, the Dow and the S&P500 over the last ten years:

This week Goldman Sachs had a conference call for their rich clients (not me):

Goldman’s conclusions :

Investors enjoy high odds of a positive return and low risk of large losses during expansions. While the virus will slow US growth this year, proactive easing by the Federal Reserve, record low rates, a strong labor market backdrop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resumption of activity in China suggest the US can still avoid recession this year.

We must also consider what the market is pricing. Very roughly, if the market declines by an average of 30% during recessions, the market’s current 18% decline arguably implies 60% (18%/30%) odds of recession. Even if recession occurs, the market might be more willing to look through a sharp contraction in growth if viewed as temporary.

Given our base case that the US avoids recession, we continue to recommend staying invested.

You can see Goldman Sachs PowerPoint  slides here:

Goldman Sachs Slides:

Covid-19 — an update

+ Hand washing is key.

+ So is “social distancing” — staying six feet away from other people, for reasons explained by Michael Osterholm:

There are some who have said that this virus is only transmitted from the hand to the face and that’s simply not true. We have compelling data on influenza transmission, which this is just like the coronavirus in terms of ongoing transmission. And, frankly, hand washing may play some role in this, but not nearly as much as people think. It’s all about the air and the air you’re breathing.

In other words, social distancing.

Neil Degrasse Tyson is an supremely entertaining scientist. He’s my favorite astro-physicist.

Stephen Colbert had him on the other night. This is worth watching.

If you receive my blog by email, you probably won’t see the graphic but you will see the YouTube link. Click on it. It will work. Let it keep playing. After a commercial, it will play the second half of the interview. It’s really good.

We will have a recession this year

As all of us will stay at home. Hence, there’s no travel, no cruising, no eating at restaurants, no going to the store to look at the latest iPhone. And there’ll be a shortage of parts and products from China. Also called supply chain disruption.

The  best economist on the planet, according to my friend Ed Sonderling, is Ed Hyman at ISI Evercore . Hyman is now forecasting:

GDP Q2: -3.5% Q3: -0.5% Q4: 3.0%   2020E: 0.5%  2021E: 3.0%

That doesn’t mean we should dump all our shares.

You might also consider shorting a little — I’m now short XOM and Boeing.

You might also consider Harry’s Stay at Home Portfolio. Here are some suggestions to nibble at:


I am fascinated by MBS’s ambition and his relentless stupidity

He started the present oil war, hoping to bring the Russians (?) and the Americans (?) to heel, or preferably bankruptcy. WTI oil is presently around $33 a barrel. Which means many Wall Street banks may soon be in trouble. Capital spending on America’s oil patch has been a huge driver of the economy in recent years.

A Guardian article is really insightful. It begins:

In the bitter struggle for Saudi rule, Prince Mohammed bin Salman has struck first
The de facto ruler’s crackdown against dissenting royals shows he is anything but the moderniser he claims to be
by Madawi al-Rasheed

For the full Guardian article, click here.


This video shows the Saudi Defense Minister arriving at the Chinese Embassy to celebrate Chinese New Year. Apparently, the Chinese forgot to mention there would be firecrackers.

Today in the market

Today has been depressing as stocks slide and slide some more. I do not blame this on investors. I don’t see investors dumping all their shares. I see the machines eyeing the downdraft and playing it. The machines account for about 70% of daily stock trades. That’s enough to give them control. When it goes down, sell. When it goes up, buy. Heh, maybe I should buy one of these machines?

There are wonderful stocks on sale — e.g. Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia and Amazon. They’ll all come roaring back soon. Trust me on that one.

Meantime, wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay six feet from everyone. Tennis works.

By the way, older Chinese still smoke. Their lungs are compromised. That’s a major reason they’re all dying from the coronavirus.

I continue to ponder why people don’t stop smoking, eat a little less, get more exercise and get a flu vaccine? I’ve been asking my friends for their reasons. You should hear the nonsense they spout on why they won’t get a flu shot. The best one? “I’m not in the right demographic to get sick.”

See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton


  • Bart

    Hello My name is Bart. I’m filling in for Harry today because of a brain malfunction sustained while he was catching falling knives. Hemorrhaging money profusely but hopefully will recover when he stops out of his stocks. Repeat yesterday’s warning, Now is the time to be long in cash! This is a dangerous time to speculate in markets. Blood will be running much deeper in the storm sewers or is it blood in the streets (Rothschild)? Bottom is further down the road. Wish Harry well but it’s a slow recovery. Maybe watching tennis will perk the old chap up.

  • Peter

    Hi Harry,
    I see lots of women smoke in USA, and they look quite young and educated. Anyway, thank you for your daily post. I learned a lot and wish you don’t lose too much of your money. I am sure it will all come back to you, soon.