In all of U.S. history, we have never seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average go from an all-time high to a bear market as quickly as we just did. As I keep reminding my readers, the stock market is all about how investors view the future. Early this year, extremely irrational optimism about the future pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen, but now things have completely changed. Fear of the coronavirus has many investors fearing an imminent economic crisis, and we have seen volatility on Wall Street that is absolutely insane. On Monday we witnessed the largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow, on Tuesday stocks came roaring back, and then on Wednesday we witnessed the second largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow. As I have previously explained numerous times, we see huge waves of momentum during any stock market crash, and I am sure we will see many more as this current implosion continues to play out.
On Wednesday, the Dow closed at 23553.22, which represented a 20.3 percent decline from the peak on February 12th.
The bull market that began on March 9th, 2009 has finally ended, and U.S. stocks are off to their worst start for a year since the last financial crisis.
But less than 5,000 people around the globe have died from this virus so far.
If we are seeing this much fear now, what is going to happen if millions of people start dying?
Thankfully, the World Health Organization finally decided to officially label this outbreak a “pandemic” on Wednesday…
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,500 and the number of confirmed cases neared 125,000.
“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
Of course that announcement really rattled investors and the Dow ended up falling 1,464 points. Banking stocks were hit particularly hard.
But then later in the day we learned that President Trump would be addressing the nation at 9 PM eastern time, and investors were temporarily encouraged.
Unfortunately, investors didn’t seem to like what Trump had to say, and Dow futures immediately plummeted about 1,000 points afterwards.
On top of everything else, two major stories broke late Wednesday that shocked the entire nation. We learned that Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the entire NBA season was suspended because a Utah Jazz player now has the virus.
Needless to say, every horrifying headline is just going to cause even more chaos for the markets.
At this point, one Goldman Sachs analyst is projecting that the S&P 500 will likely fall quite a bit more in the days ahead…
Goldman Sachs chief equity analyst David Kostin said Wednesday he expects the S&P 500 to hit a low of 2,450, more than 10% below its current closing level of 2,741. Kostin based his new view on a reduced expectation for S&P 500 earnings.
And another analyst believes that we are “only about halfway” to the bottom of the market…
“We can see the panic in the equity market,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust. “The big question for most people is, are we at the bottom yet? I think we’re only about halfway there.”
Of course both of them are assuming that this coronavirus pandemic will not last for too much longer.
But what if they are wrong?
What if this pandemic lasts into next year or even longer?
As stocks fall, people are gobbling up gold and silver coins like crazy. In fact, millions of Silver Eagles have been sold in recent days…
With the spread of the Global Contagion, the demand for physical precious metals has increased significantly. According to the U.S. Mint’s newest update, another million Silver Eagles were sold over the past two days. This brings to total Silver Eagle sales in March at 2.3 million, more than three times the previous month.
So if you have been waiting all this time for your silver coins to start appreciating in value, it may finally start paying off.
Meanwhile, we are already starting to see workers being laid off as much of the U.S. literally begins to shut down because of this virus. The following comes from the Washington Post…
At the Port of Los Angeles, 145 drivers have been laid off and others have been sent home without pay as massive ships from China stopped arriving and work dried up. At travel agencies in Atlanta and Los Angeles, several workers lost their jobs as bookings evaporated. Christie Lites, a stage-lighting company in Orlando, laid off more than 100 of its 500 workers nationwide this past week and likely will lay off 150 more, according to chief executive Huntly Christie. Meanwhile a hotel in Seattle is closing an entire department, a former employee said, and as many as 50 people lost their jobs after the South by Southwest festival in Austin got canceled.
Sadly, this is just the beginning. If this crisis lasts long enough, eventually we will see layoffs that are absolutely unprecedented.
And the civil unrest that I keep warning about appears to be already starting as well. Just check out what just happened at the University of Dayton…
University of Dayton students took to the streets after the school canceled classes, on-campus events, and gatherings, and closed UD student housing. Over 1,000 students gathered on Lowes Street by late Tuesday, jumping on cars and throwing bottles at police the University of Dayton said in a written statement.
You can see a news report about this incident right here. Of course if this pandemic continues to escalate the civil unrest will become much, much, much worse in the months ahead.
On Wednesday night, President Trump announced that travel from Europe would be suspended for 30 days.
That is certainly a step in the right direction, but at this point it isn’t going to make too much of a difference.
The virus is now in over 100 countries, and it is now spreading in almost every U.S. state.
And what most people don’t realize is that this pandemic is far from the only crisis we will be facing. We have entered a time when we will be hit by one thing after another, and most Americans will not be able to handle it.
We are seeing so much fear out there right now, but this is not a time for fear.
This is a time for faith, and it is absolutely critical for you and your family to believe that you can get through this.
Anyone can shine during the best of times, but it is during the worst of times that we discover who we really are.
The days ahead are going to be extremely challenging, but they will also be a great opportunity to make a tremendous difference in a society that has been gripped by fear and that is starting to spin completely out of control.
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