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Life has its magical, depressing and just plain frustrating moments.

Magical moments:

FaceTime and PhotoStream with the four grandkids.  All of them enjoying a new stay-at-home world.

Peter, Zoey, Sophie and Eleanor.

The daily information barrage by TV and Internet is massively frightening.

But this chart made me feel some comfort that the light at the end of the tunnel may be a new world, not a speeding train coming at me.

And also,

Oxford University research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms.

If this research is accurate, it would likely mean a large swath of the population has built up resistance to the virus. Theoretically, then, social restrictions could ease sooner than anticipated. What needs to be done now is a whole lot of antibody testing to figure out who may have contracted the virus.

Best advice

The best investment advice

Mark Cuban, “When you don’t know what to do, do nothing.”

Todd Kingsley’s great axiom, “When in doubt, stay out.

We had a nice bounce this week. but then it faded on Friday and then dropped big-time at the end of Friday’s trading.

I fear for stocks and bonds. We’ve passed our big stimulus bill. Trump signed it late Friday afternoon. So what’s next?

Businesses are closed, people have lost heir jobs, the economy is on life-support.

There are a handful of stocks benefiting by stay-at-home — Zoom Video, TelaDoc, Roku, DocuSign, RingCentral.

Maybe also Netflix, Adobe, and Nvidia. Maybe also Regeneron, Gilead, Moderna, Sanofi and Johnson and Johnson. Maybe.

Over 30 teams are scrambling to find a cure and a vaccine. Picking the winner out of thirty is close to lottery odds.

The rest on my old list — see the right column on my blog site –seem weak and falling. In a year’s time any number of them will look like bargains — from JPMorgan to Berkshire Hathaway to Coca-Cola:

I don’t know when it’s time to pick up solid companies like these .

I sure am drinking a lot of Coke staying at home.

Picking a portfolio of solid companies but beaten-down stocks looks like a good exercise for this weekend.

If you work at a company that you can feel is doing well, nibble away.  Send me their name.

More great virus humor

Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker is having a ball.

Take advantage of the opportunities

This video is wonderful

If you can’t see it on your email, visit my web page here.

Sadly, for our family

The virus is closing in. Many adults from their twenties to their sixties in our family now have it. For most, the symptoms are mild, so far. Several people have reported losing their sense of smell and taste.

Susan and I are holed up in mid-state New York — 127 miles north of the City. There are virus cases up here. No one knows how many. It’s rural. The sun is shining. The weather is warming. The trees have some buds, but no leaves. We will play tennis outside tomorrow — for the first time.

Meantime, I spend much time replacing blown lightbulbs and thermometer batteries. Whatever happened to the old, reliable mercury glass thermometers that didn’t need a frigging battery?

This is a great time for doing stupid. Falling down stairs. Fender-bendering your car. Eating too much. Twisting your ankle. Be careful.

Good News just in

CNBC reports:

You can read the rest of Pence’s Fantasy here.

Unemployment statistics

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported a record 3,283,000 Americans applying for unemployment benefits.

Here’s the front page of today’s New York Times. That’s the weekly unemployment numbers from the year 2000 climbing in the right column to the latest 3,283,000.

You can find that chart in larger size here.

See you Monday. — Harry Newton