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God bless American ingenuity. And one eye-popping recovery rally that may or may not last

Eye popping recovery rally

From JPMorgan this morning:

+ 24.7%: The S&P 500’s eye-popping recovery rally since its March 23 low. The optimist might be convinced we are in the midst of a new bull market, while the pessimist might suggest we’re experiencing a “bear market rally”-a short-term surge in stocks amid a longer spiral to the bottom.

  The Global Financial Crisis, for example, saw several fits and starts along the way-rallying as much as 24% at one point before ultimately hitting its trough on March 9, 2009.

Nobody has the vaguest idea where markets will go when they re-open on Monday. But there’ll be lots to read over the weekend from learned prognosticators. A better choice: play tennis.

Two New York Times front page articles were headlined:



This is my new face mask

Yarmouth Tailoring, Maine, has switched to making face masks. The masks are fantastic and very comfortable. They’re made of two layers of cotton and are machine washable. Wash them in the washing machine and then iron them. The heat from the washing / ironing will kill the germies.  (My daughter’s technical term)

The owner, Vanessa Michaud, emailed me “I’m VERY grateful to be working. Just sad I’m making masks, not prom dresses.”

Her lovingly hand-made masks cost $10 each. You pay her with Venmo or Paypal. You get in touch with her here. Tell her Harry sent you.

They now teach happiness at the Harvard Business School

Money doesn’t buy happiness. But one Hollywood star once quipped, “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. Rich is better.”

Happiness has to do with family and friendships. Surprise. Surprise.

Professor Arthur C. Brooks has written a piece “The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic.” He writes:

There is no magic formula for what shape your family and friendships should take. The key is to cultivate and maintain loving, faithful relationships with other people. One extraordinary 75-year study followed Harvard graduates from 1939 to 1944, into their 90s, looking at all aspects of their health and well-being. The principal investigator, the psychologist George Vaillant, summarized the findings as follows: “Happiness is love. Full stop.” People who have loving relationships with family and friends thrive; those who don’t, don’t.

Finally, there’s work. Maybe it shocks you that work is part of this equation; it shouldn’t. One of the most robust findings in the happiness literature is the centrality of productive human endeavor in creating a sense of purpose in life. Of course, there are better jobs and worse jobs, but most researchers don’t think unemployment brings anything but misery.

You can read Prof Brooks’ entire article in the latest issue of The Atlantic here.

It made me happy to learn of Ms Michaud’s mask making business.

And now for weekend Chores

+ Skip WiFi. Connect your router via RJ-45 Ethernet cable to your laptop. Much faster.

+ Zoom Video with your family is their best Easter/Passover present. Don’t be fearful of zoombombing. Just don’t put the meeting ID and password on the Internet for all to see.

+ LED bulbs use 85% less electricity. And some have a nice warm color. I prefer bulbs with 3000 to 3400 K.

+ You’re paying far too much for cable TV and DirecTV — which are fixed to a location. Better YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney, Netflix, Amazon. They stream to wherever you are and they’re much cheaper. The quality over broadband is the same.

+ Watch out for scams. Here’s the morning’s email:

Now look carefully at the sender’s email address. It smells:

+  Get some real exercise. Walking is not exercise.

+ Take an afternoon nap.

+ If you’re in the country, watch out for these things. Here are the two we found in the last few days:

I found them cute. I believe they’re harmless but I’m not out to test my theory. My family’s “solution?” Burn down the house.

Nature-loving family.

See you Monday. — Harry Newton






  1. Lucky says:

    I tried to order a couple masks, however, after scrolling down yards and yards of material I never found where or how to order masks.

  2. Drew DePaul says:

    I don’t think they are Copperheads. The hourglass pattern should be more extreme. Plus it looks like the snake in the second picture has a round eye.