Skip to content

Nibbling time is here. We’ll get through this. Here’s why.

My Friday blog ended with the recommendation:

Don’t forget. Sell stock today. God (or whoever) has given us a nice (though temporary) uptick.

Sadly, that recommendation on Friday was accurate.

Now, for my recommendation today (Monday):

We are in the midst of a full-blown panic. Stocks are crashing, hence presenting us with an opportunity to buy great American companies at cheap prices.

I’m not arguing that today will be the bottom. No one can predict that. I’m arguing that prices today will look historically very cheap — a year or two. Today there is blood in the streets.

As to what to what to buy? Great American companies like Apple suddenly very cheap. But remember I’m writing this before the markets have opened and I’m watching futures, which is a thin market.

For those readers who are feeling that this rout may continue, your comfort is at stake. Sell enough to give yourself comfort. Cash is not necessarily King, but it’s certainly more comforting than eyeing the red ink on your screen.

The good news is that containment seems to be working. The world is locking down, cancelling events, shutting schools, staying at home and watching Paw Patrol. There’s zillions of episodes on Amazon Video. My grandkids love Paw Patrol.

The bad news is threefold. Our president is, sadly, clueless and cannot do what presidents are meant to do — assure a panicked nation that we’ll get through this. Three press conferences later (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) and the markets are panicking even more. That tells you a lot.

Second, Washington has not yet passed a stimulus package that could help. Friday’s deal was focused on free testing, not economic bailout. Maybe it will come.

Third, no one seems to care about Americans who lose their jobs, get sick and don’t have paid sick leave.

It’s impossible to predict the extent of the economic fallout. Start with the fact that U.S. economy is 70% consumer, and the fact that everyone is at home, going out to shop only for groceries and (yes) toilet paper — but not for cars, refrigerators, TVs, clothes, or airline tickets, etc.

From the New York Times:

It is impossible, at this early stage, to adequately quantify the economic effects of so much illness – and of the mass quarantines, lockdowns and voluntary “social distancing” in so many communities, companies and countries. Whether this event really turns out to be a storm from which the economy rebounds, or a cataclysm that wreaks far more consequential changes, cannot be easily answered.

That’s too gloomy. In two years, we’ll have a vaccine and a cure. Life will return to normal.

Here’s a wonderful picture from the Wall Street Journal last week. It is Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, receiving a special citation from President Eisenhower at the White House, 1955.

The Journal wrote:

Rarely, if ever, had a scientist received the instant adulation that awaited Jonas Salk. Tributes piled up, including the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded previously to the likes of Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh and General George C. Marshall. The Eisenhower White House circulated a memo suggesting a Rose Garden ceremony for maximum political gain: “We’ve [got to] show that the president is just as interested as [Franklin D. Roosevelt] in take away the perennial Democratic thunder.” Yet those who witnessed the event were touched by its simple humanity. “No bands played and no flags waved,” wrote a reporter who had followed Eisenhower for years. “But nothing could have been more impressive than this grandfather standing there and telling Dr. Salk in a voice trembling with emotion, “I have no words to thank you. I am very, very happy.'”

And here’s what it lead to: Children everywhere were immunized against polio. Most of my readers are not old enough to know anyone who suffered from polio. But I had friends who had it. And it was awful.

I’m praying that in a year or so our president (whoever he or she is) will hold a Rose Garden presentation for the inventor of the Coronavirus vaccine.

That will be a joyous day. It will happen. It will happen.

Meantime, stay well,. Remember your only strategy is extreme caution. Obsessive hand washing. No face touching. Avoid crowds.. Self-isolate, Declare a personal family emergency. And, most importantly, understand the stress that everyone is under.

Don’t underestimate the virulence. It hits the mighty and the famous. Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive. Warren Buffett’s daughter has quarantined herself after potential exposure to coronavirus. She sat next to a reverend who tested positive for coronavirus days later.

There are people in your community who will lose their jobs and/or get sick and don’t have paid sick leave.  Millions don’t. Please help them with food and supplies. Churches, synagogues, Rotary Clubs, etc. are organizing. Help them.

We’ll get through this, possibly a little poorer, but I hope healthy.

Plenty of time later to make up for the losses.

See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton





  • June

    Want to know more about this phony fairy, Harry read this corvid19 article. Describes him perfectly. Me knows he’s a fake.

  • Greg T

    Hey Harry, why nibble at DOW 20,000 when you can wait a bit an nibble at DOW 12,000? DOW 12k just gets us to normal valuation levels on a historical basis and does not account for overshooting during a panic.

  • Mike Nash

    The only thing more disturbing than the president not even being able to reassure the public is that new poll showing that 85% of Republicans think he’s doing a great job handling the crisis.

    • barryl

      As Ron White would say, (taking us) “all the way to the scene of the crash”

  • Mike Nash

    Who said the below? You can’t drop in a quote like this and not tell us where it’s from.

    We are in the midst of a full-blown panic. Stocks are crashing, hence presenting us with an opportunity to buy great American companies at cheap prices

    • harrynewton

      I said it. I thought it was pretty obvious that I said it. Sorry if i was unclear.

      • Omer Acikel

        Harry I think since you put with indentation, Mike though it was a recommendation from a source. It was clear to me from the context, you continued from your Friday observations. But today was bloody. I had been buying what I thought was discount, but they are all red…I did not seek the bottom as I am for long, but with some I am almost 10% below. Bloody indeed.