MMA Weekly Column: June 1, 2020

REVIEW AND PREVIEW

Argentina missed interest payments to international creditors on Friday, thrusting the economically besieged country back into default territory. – Natalie Alcoba, “Argentina Defaults Again as Debt Talks Progress,” www.Aljazeera.com, May 22, 2020.

The US dollar edged higher on Wednesday and China’s yuan hit a near nine-month low as worries about the US response to China’s proposed security law for Hong Kong injected a more cautious tone into foreign exchange markets. The US currency had fallen sharply on Tuesday as strong risk appetite encouraged investors into riskier currencies…www.reuters.com, “Yuan Hits 9-Month Low as US-China Tensions Return,” May 27, 2020.

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra

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MMA Weekly Column: May 25, 2020

Note: U.S. markets will be closed Monday in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.

REVIEW AND PREVIEW:

Heavy hearts soared Monday (May 18) with news that Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate — the front runner in the American market — seemed to be generating an immune response in Phase 1 trial subjects. The company’s stock valuation also surged, hitting $29 billion, an astonishing feat for a company that currently sells zero products. But was there good reason for so much enthusiasm? While Moderna blitzed the media, it revealed very little information — and most of what it did disclose were words, not data. – Helen Branswell, “Vaccine Experts Say Moderna Didn’t Produce Data Critical to Assessing Covid-19 Vaccine,” www.statnews.com, May 19, 2020.

Uncertainty. Mixed signals. That’s the nature of Venus retrograde in a square aspect to Neptune last week. It’s going to continue for a while, as this aspect unfolds in a 3-passages series through the end of July. Nothing is real; nothing is clear. So just sit back and try to relax without putting unnecessary stress on your self or those around you. You can’t make a detailed plan, so learn to be present in the moment.

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MMA Weekly Column: May 18, 2020

Due to preparation for this weekend’s Mid-year financial markets webinar (Sunday, May 17), there is no MMA Weekly Column. We look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday. If you plan to attend please sign up no later than Friday, for the office is closed on Saturday. On Sunday, we anticipate that our office will  be extremely busy helping clients, who have pre-registered, log into the live webinar.  We will not be able to guarantee our availability to help clients sign up and register for the Webinar after Friday.

This column will return next weekend, for the week starting May 25. Enjoy your week ahead!

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MMA Weekly Column: May 11, 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

The Labor Department reported Friday the coronavirus wiped 20.5 million workers from nonfarm payrolls and sending the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7% last month. April’s unemployment rate topped the post-war record 10.8% but was short of the Great Depression high estimated at 24.9%. The financial crisis peak was 10% in October 2009. Still, the figures came in better than Wall Street’s expectations. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to shed 21.5 million and the unemployment rate to go to 16%. – Yun Li and Katrina Bishop,”2-Year Treasury Yield Hits New Record low of .0105%,” www.cnbc.com, May 8, 2020.

World equity markets are doing exactly what they usually do going into the Venus retrograde period of May 13: they are rallying. This, of course, is the opposite of what most people think the stock market should be doing based on the dismal state of world economies, as exemplified by last week’s job losses that were the worst since the Great Depression in the U.S.

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MMA Weekly Column: May 4, 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

“As businesses begin to open, you’re going to see the demand side of the economy rebound,” Mr. Mnuchin said. That resembles the forecast issued by the Congressional Budget Office, which expects a sharp contraction in this quarter and then growth at an annual rate of 17% in the second half of this year. The rebound depends on many unknowns… _Richard Rubin and Sarah Graney, “Mnuchin Expresses Confidence in Rebound,” Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2020.

Mr. Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may underestimate how much this shutdown is hollowing out the heart of the U.S. economy. “The Fed’s Main Street Mistake,” Wall Street Journal, “Review and Outlook,” April 10, 2020.

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MMA Weekly Column: April 27, 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

Employers are already having a hard time rehiring some employees who are now making much more in jobless benefits. Beyond the damage to life and livelihood, the greatest threat from the coronavirus are policy mistakes that prolong the economic pain. Democrats want to use the pandemic as an excuse to put government in charge of much more of the private economy. Now Mr. Trump wants to limit America’s supply of human talent. If they succeed, we will wake up in 2021 having defeated Covid-19 but at the high cost of a diminished economic future. – “Trump’s Immigration Distraction,” Wall Street Journal editors, April 22, 2020.

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MMA Weekly Column: April 20, 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

Stocks surged on Friday after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug showed some effectiveness in treating the coronavirus, giving investors some hope there could be a treatment solution that helps the country reopen faster from the widespread shutdowns that have plunged the economy into a recession. – “Dow Jumps 700 Points on Hope for a Coronavirus Treatment, Closes at Highest Level Since March,” Fred Imbert, www.cnbc.com, April 17, 2020.

While widespread testing may help, it won’t eradicate the virus. They also know even another month of lock down, much less the year needed for a vaccine, would mean severe stress for the economy. Reopening must go forward, and that will by necessity mean more outbreaks, more cases, more deaths. That was always going to happen in a pandemic. Kimberley A. Strassel, “Moving the Shutdown Goal Posts,” The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020

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MMA Weekly Column: April 13, 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

One of the nation’s top economists, (former Fed Chair Janet) Yellen predicted a 30 percent contraction of GDP this year but has seen models as high as 50 percent. – Megan Henney, “Coronavirus Unemployment Could Hit Post-Depression Record, Economists Say,” https://www.foxnews.com/, April 10, 2020.

Mr. (Jerome) Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may underestimate how much this shutdown is hollowing out the heart of the U.S. economy. – Review and Outlook, “The Fed’s ‘Main Street’ Mistake,” Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2020.

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MMA Weekly Column: April 6 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

The U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, snapping a decade-long record of employment growth, as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and forced Americans to stay at home. It was the first decline in payrolls since September 2010, and the steepest since March 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4 percent, up from a half-century low of 3.5 percent in February. – Megan Henney, “US Employers Shed 701,000 Jobs in March, Unemployment Jumps to 4.4%,” www.foxbusiness.com, April 3, 2020.

Two weeks ago, many world equity markets suffered their greatest one-week loss ever, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Many completed multi-year lows between March 19-March 23, and then began record-breaking rallies that lasted 3-5 days one week ago. Last week saw corrections to those rallies. But in several cases, these corrections exhibited a case of intermarket bearish divergence where one market took out the highs of the prior week, but a related market in the same part of the world did not. Most of those then pulled back from that secondary high into the end of last week.

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MMA Weekly Column: March 30, 2020

REVIEW AND SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS

“So, I think the public health is the most important one,” he (Ben Bernanke) added. “If we can get that straight, then we know how to get the economy working again. Monetary and fiscal policy can do their thing and we won’t have anything like the extended downturn we saw even, I don’t think, in the Great Recession, much less the Great Depression of the ’30s.” – Jeff Cox, “Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Sees ‘Very Sharp’ Recession, Followed by ‘Fairly Quick’ Rebound,” www.cnbc.com, March 25, 2020.

“We may well be in a recession. But I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy. Quite the contrary. We are starting from a very strong position… When it comes to lending, we are not going to run out of ammunition. That just doesn’t happen.” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, in interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today Show,” March 26, 2020.

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