Seeing Beyond The Black Swan Event

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow, Ray Dalio was recklessly dismissive of cash positions, stating "cash is trash." Even Goldman Sachs proclaimed that the economy was recession-proof via "Great Moderation," characterized by low volatility, sustainable growth, and muted inflation. Not only were these assessments incorrect but they were ill-advised in what was an already frothy market with stretched valuations. I'm sure Ray Dalio quickly realized that his "cash is trash" mentality, and public statements were imprudent. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a truly back swan event that no one saw coming. This health crisis has crushed stocks and decimated entire industries such as airlines, casinos, travel, leisure, and retail with others in the crosshairs.

The S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones have shed approximately a third of their market capitalization, with the sell-offs coming in at 33%, 29%, and 36%, respectively, through March 20, 2020. Some individual stocks have lost over 70% of their market capitalization. Other stocks have been hit due to the market-wide meltdown, and many opportunities have been presented as a result.

Investors have been presented with a unique opportunity to start buying stocks and take long positions in high-quality companies. Throughout this market sell-off, I have begun to take long positions in individual stocks, particularly in the technology sector and broad market ETFs that mirror the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones. It's important to put this black swan into perspective and see through this on a long term basis while viewing this as an opportunity that only comes along in decades.

Most Extreme and Rare Sell-Off Ever

The abrupt and drastic economic shutdown and velocity of the U.S. market's ~30% drop within a month bring parallels to the 1930s. This sell-off has been extreme and rare in its breadth, nearly evaporating entire market capitalizations of specific companies. The pace at which stocks have dropped from their peak just last month from all-time highs is the fastest in history. The major averages just posted their worst week since the financial crisis (Figures 1 and 2). The Dow is tracking for its worst month since 1931, the S&P since 1940. As of March 20, the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones have sold off 33%, 29%, and 36%, respectively. Continue reading "Seeing Beyond The Black Swan Event"

Don't Be Remiss - Start Buying Stocks

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has pummeled stocks and has caused a complete collapse of the entire market. Broader indices such as the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones have lost over 20% of their value, while most individual stocks have lost 20%-70% of their market capitalization. Airlines, cruise lines, and casinos have been hit particularly hard. Other stocks have been hit due to the market-wide meltdown, and many opportunities have been presented as a result. I'd be remiss if I didn't use this unique opportunity to start buying stocks and take long positions in high-quality companies. Throughout this market sell-off, I have begun to take long positions in individual stocks, particularly in the technology sector and broad market ETFs that mirror the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones.

The Financial Crisis and 1987 Black Monday Comparators

The broader market sold off in a historic downward move as the coronavirus has spread outside of China throughout the rest of the world, effectively shutting down economic activity on a grand scale. During the last week of February, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 sank by 12% and 11% for the week, respectively. This marked the worst weekly performance since the financial crisis for the markets. The Dow posted its biggest one-day loss ever during the week and tumbled into correction territory, down more than 10% along with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

As the markets moved into March, the S&P 500 officially closed in a bear market on March 12th, down more than 26% from its record high set just last month. This ended the historic 11-year bull market run. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) jumped to more than 76 and hit its highest level since 2008 (Figure 1). On March 12th, The Dow Jones and S&P 500 had its worst drop since the 1987 "Black Monday" market crash, when it collapsed by more than 22% (Figure 2).

This market-wide meltdown is in response to the negative impact that COVID-19 will likely have on the global economy and corporate earnings. A wide array of companies have already issued warnings about their upcoming quarterly earnings. This placed a damper on the outlook for the markets, especially with rising concerns Continue reading "Don't Be Remiss - Start Buying Stocks"

COVID-19 Market Meltdown - Hysteria Presents Opportunities

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc on worldwide supply chains, shipping routes, commerce customer demand, and travel. The broader market sold off in a historic downward move as the coronavirus has spread outside of China. During the last week of February, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 sank by 12% and 11% for the week, respectively. This marked the worst weekly performance since the financial crisis for the markets. The Dow posted its biggest one-day loss ever during the week and tumbled into correction territory, down more than 10% along with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. This market-wide meltdown is in response to the negative impact that COVID-19 will likely have on the global economy and corporate earnings. A wide array of companies have already issued warnings about their upcoming quarterly earnings. This placed a damper on the outlook for the markets, especially with rising concerns over a potential outbreak occurring in the United States. The OPEC fiasco and plummeting oil prices are exacerbating this market weakness. These events are presenting buying opportunities across the board in high-quality names and the indices on the whole.

The Market Meltdown

The number of new cases in China continued to rise and spiked in South Korea and Italy during the final week of February and the first week of March. During this time, the Dow posted multiple declines of more than 1,000 points. One loss of 1,192 points was the Dow's biggest one-day point loss on record. The Dow was down 14% from a record high during this period. The S&P 500, posted declines of more than 2% multiple times during this two week period as well. The S&P 500 fell 13% below a record high, and this marks the average's fastest decline from a record high into a correction ever, outside of a one-day crash. It's noteworthy to highlight that 96% of the entire S&P 500 is in correction territory, and all 30 Dow stocks are down more than 10% from their respective 52-week highs. Furthermore, the COVID-19 market sell-off has wiped out over $3.5 trillion in market value from its high during the two weeks. Continue reading "COVID-19 Market Meltdown - Hysteria Presents Opportunities"