By Jack Kelly
If you’re an investor, today sucks. The last few weeks have actually sucked. The Dow was down about 7% as of about 3:00 pm. This is on top of the prior plummet of roughly 10%. It looks like it’s going to be a no-good, lousy, awful 2008-type stock market for a while.
Don’t think you’re immune to this. You probably are in the stock market even if you don’t know it. Your children’s college plan, your 401(k) at work, retirement funds, pensions and IRAs are usually heavily invested in the stock market.
On top of the COVID-19 virus (the disease formerly known as coronavirus), an overpriced stock market that was due for a correction, a breakdown in the global supply chain and growing mass hysteria, we now have a price war on oil that unexpectedly hit the market hard today. To top off a terrible day, there’s talk of a large asteroid hitting earth at about 20,000 miles per hour.
To make matters worse, the mass media is going to keep pounding us with every scary piece of data that they can come up with to ensure that we’re freaked out all of the time. You have to wonder—no matter what side of the political spectrum you stand on— if the left-leaning, anti-Trump media is trumping up the fear factor to make the orange man look bad. It’s a pretty convenient strategy. Hit him where it hurts—the economy, stock and job market.
He’s also not helping himself. Trump could have easily rallied around the medical community taking swift actions to deal with the outbreak. He could have used the virus to close the borders with Mexico and stop immigration, and it would have been hard for people to fight him on it. But he’s sticking with “it’s only the flu and all you need to do is wash your hands” strategy.
I’m kind of with him in that I believe the coronavirus, or Wuhan Virus if you’re racist, is overblown and overhyped. I’ve been reporting on the coronavirus when it first started in China. It was completely different than what we see here in the United States. We saw people literally dropping dead in the streets. The pictures and videos looked like they were from an apocalyptic dystopian future. They were so incendiary that Twitter removed and banned them.
Millions of citizens were quarantined. People were locked into their homes and apartments. Massive amounts of folks tried to gain entrance into hospitals. It was pure chaos.
The way it’s affecting us is much less hostile. Could it reach epic proportions? Sure, anything is possible, but I doubt it. If the media reported about the deaths each day by going into detail about cancer, the flu, car accidents, suicide, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease we’d never leave the house.
The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is over 109,000. Italy is now the proud leader outside of China. The Italian government is quarantining the northern region. There is no word on what will happen to our supply of pasta and Ferraris.
Colleges are starting to worry that squishing 300 students into an overheated lecture hall may help spread the virus. Fordham University is stopping face-to-face instructions. Princeton University is turning to all virtual lectures and seminars. Columbia University will not hold classes Monday and Tuesday and then switch to online courses thereafter.
According to Barrons, the stock market goes up the escalator and down the elevator. I’d politely disagree with the esteemed publication. It goes down like the f*ckn Kingda Ka roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure.
The way to best benefit from this carnage is to buy the dips. It’s not easy, especially since after each dip, the market dropped even more. You have to have a strong stomach and then buy again. History shows that investors get great gains after massive sell-offs.
I’ve been buying beaten down stocks on the dips and losing a ton of money so far. So, don’t listen to anything I say or write—unless, the market bounces back, the outbreak is cured and then I’m a genius.