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Health and happiness at 78. The economy is roaring back. Here’s how to play a cratering market.

This was yesterday. A horrendous 1800+ point plus drop on the Dow. This chart shows the Dow, S&P  and Nasdaq yesterday.

“They” (the gurus)  said the drop started due to news of virus infections spiking, not falling as magical thinking in Washington has fantazied.

Explanations for market drops (or rises) are made up by gurus and then become conventional wisdom in the financial media.

The reality is that roughly 70% of trades — buys and sells — are done by machines which follow the trend. Yesterday, it started down. We had a great “reason.” So the computers got to work and sold and sold and sold. You can see the tell-tale spike at the end of the day with machines and short sellers covering. No one in their right mind would stay short overnight after such a big drop. There’s gonna be a bounce the next day for whatever new reason someone makes up. I don’t know what today’s is, yet.

I’m not sitting all day in front of a screen trying to capture short-term movements. I’d rather play tennis, read a good book or FaceTime with the kids. But the whole virus sell-off was overdone and I bought shares in AMD, HD, UNH and ANET. They’ll probably rise today, proving, once again, that I’m a genius. Except that I could have basically bought anything — from Boeing to American Airlines and proved that I was a genius. For today, they’ll be up. I can’t figure airlines out.

Joys of working from home

You need:

+ Extra computer monitors. I have three external ones powered by Lenovo ThinkPad. What’s great is that Windows 10 easily recognizes attached monitors. In the old days you needed special software. You can buy 21.5 inch monitors on Amazon for $100 or so. Biggest bargain in he history of computing. A big 27 inc curvy monitor is also fun.

+ Faster Internet. Somehow I snagged a gig Internet line for less than the price of my old 7 megs DSL line. that’s 142 times as fast for less money. Go figure.

+ YouTube TV. Much better and much cheaper than DirecTV. You can watch on your big TV screen or your little laptop screen. Personally, I like sitting in bed and watching YouTube TV on my laptop. I can also record anything and all I want to. Free. Great service. Give up overpriced DirecTV. Shake it off.

+ Find Rosie. “Where’s Rosie?” She’s outside. All by herself. No problem. Except that three of our neighbors have seen Moishe the bear. We hope Moishe doesn’t eat little dogs. Just think. When we lived in New York City, all we worried about was cockroaches. They posed Rosie no threat, though they did to me. I had this enjoyable habit of naming them. Susan threatened to kill me. Not funny. Egbert, the  blattella germanica, was my favorite. You can also get  A Cockroach Identification Chart online and hang it in your kitchen. I had one for a while. One night the chart mysteriously disappeared.

Fathers Day present

This thing jump starts your car. You don’t need jumper cables, which no one has.

It will also power your iPhone. $97. Click here.

Wednesday was my birthday

AI (artificial intelligence) is hot? Here’s “personalized” birthday wishes, arrived by email.

Totally charming!

Zoe and Sophie did better. They made a sign and displayed it on FaceTime.

Sophie discovered she could talk to my Alexa over FacetTime and ask Alexa to sing me me Happy Birthday. Which was very funny. They also asked Alexa to play Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, which it did, along with the lyrics. Sophie learned a new word — lyrics.

Peter in Portland, Oregon got dressed up for my birthday. Straight out of Grease:

Dumbest investment made

My miles on American Airlines earned through “diligent” use of a Citi MasterCard. The card only gives me airline miles. Chase Amazon Prime Visa gives me cash back. Much better. I’ve switched.

Where would I like to travel, American Airlines asks me? I’d like to travel to Portland, Oregon to see grandkids, Eleanor and Peter. But couped and crowded up for six hours in a badly ventilated aluminum box. No thank you.

We thought of driving. TBut drive though all those states where virus infections are spiking. No way.

One friend and his wife drove non-stop from Scottsdale, Arizona to upstate New York. Yup, just my style.

Recommended (hand-picked) weekend reading

+ America was not ready to reopen. Click here.

+ Don’t count Trump out yet. Click here.

+ The paths of destruction. How SARS-CoV-2 causes disease and death in covid-19. Click here.

+ History will judge the complicit.

To read this important Atlantic Magazine article, click here.

The joys of working at home, courtesy the New Yorker

I’m amazed how fast the economy is coming back

The official statistics are awful. But we’re in Columbia County, mid-state New York. Everyone who wants to work here can get a job. All I ‘m hearing from companies is how hard it is to find workers.

Item: We can’t get our septic pumped out until August. Meantime, we’ll got where the bears go… Oops can’t do that. There’s a big one out there. Remember to carry Pepper Spray and bells. But they’re probably on backorder at Amazon.

I understand why everyone and their uncle want to open the economy. But, folks, there’s a pandemic out there. People are being irresponsible Few wear masks. There’s little social distancing in the newly-opened stores. Everyone is so thrilled to be out. Cabin fever is deadly. Intelligent people (i.e. my few friends) are staying home to Labor Day.

I’m glad the Black Lives Matter protests are bringing a modicum of police reform. One speech by a spirited young lady got me. She talked about the protests. She ended with words I’ll never forget,.

She said, “You should be lucky that what we want is equality, not revenge.

Equality, not revenge. Powerful words, I’m grateful for.

See you Monday — Harry Newton.


  1. Mike Nash says:

    I’m voting for Bernie – write in – and I encourage all Dems to do same.

  2. Wendell Cox says:

    Happy Birthday Harry!!!
    Do you know how to identify bear scat? It smells like pepper and it has little bells in it.

  3. ZZ says:

    Harry – I wish you a most Happy Birthday. I have read your blog off and on for many, many years now. Thanks for the humor and wisdom that you consistently display and the enjoyment you bring to your readership….people like me. Peace out and congrats.

  4. Richard Grigonis says:

    A belated Happy Birthday Harry!

  5. Fderfler says:

    The article you referenced in “The Week” is so full of misinformation and phony expertise that it clearly qualifies as “fake news”. I am on a county “task force” (20 years in the military and this is my first “Task Force”) planning for the next school year. The task force members get a data drop several times a week. Practically every supposition in the article you referenced is incorrect.
    The increase in cases is clearly related to increased testing. If you do the case per test math, they are dropping. The MAJORITY of cases here in Florida are related to nursing homes. Ask your NY governor and NYC mayor what they did for nursing homes. (It’s NOT pretty, wise, or even sane)
    What will surprise you are the results from serology testing for antibodies.
    Note that the % of people with antibodies across every age group has been holding at 4-8% for weeks. As the number of serology tests continues (and most of the sample sizes are statistically significant) the % has stayed remarkably level.
    — There is a level of “herd immunity” and it is growing
    — There are challenges in the schools because you can not assume younger students are “safe’.
    There is a lot to learn, but certainly not from that article.
    The other article on POTUS at least draws a reasonable conclusion… although based on garbage facts. Any author quoting “polls’ is automatically shown to be a fool.
    Gotta go get the boat ready for the Trump Birthday Boat Parade on Sunday. Similar pro-Trump boat parades around Florida have turned out thousands of boats. They predict rain, but hey… It’s a boat!

    • Mike Nash says:

      Trump must stay in power. Sleepy Joe is not up to it. Whatever it takes p voter suppression, etc, Trump must do it. Even if Biden wins Trump must refuse to leave office.

  6. Kent Kjellgren says:

    Harry, you need to identify that bear. Here is a checklist:

    Climb the nearest tree and carefully observe the bear’s behavior.
    If the bear climbs the tree to get you then it is a black bear.
    If, however, the bear stands at the base of the tree and shakes it until you fall out then it is a grizzly bear.