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The Newsletter

It’s hard to remember that there’s still a pandemic going on. Vaccination rates have increased and it looks like we may be on the cusp of a roaring 20s. Consumers are healthy and eager to make up for lost time–booking travel and eating out. Offices will probably re-open by the end of summer but working from home is likely to remain an option.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: Retailers reported strong quarters last week showing that the US consumer remains resilient despite high unemployment.  A new wave of Covid could slow the economy back down but vaccines are almost here.  It will be interesting to see what behaviors have been permanently altered by the pandemic and which ones will return to the way that they were.  Business travel is one thing that may be permanently changed.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: Pfizer announced that its vaccine is 90% effective and that gave a boost to market confidence. The vaccine could be great news for the industry and great news for society. Pfizer says that it will have over 1B doses ready next year. The vaccine could lead to some reflationary outcomes.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: Most parts of the economy have normalized and the economic winners are booming.  Technology, cloud service and e-commerce are leading the way and other industries are surging as well.  Financial service firms focused on M&A advisory, trading and restructuring are seeing strong business.  The housing market is also on fire with new home sales up 32% y/y.  This week’s election and a renewed wave of COVID could dampen activity, but for now, the economy is doing remarkably well.  COVID may have led to structurally higher productivity.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: There were a lot of major data points about the economy last week but the biggest news of all seemed to be just how well tech companies did despite the massive economic dislocation.  In a quarter where GDP fell at a 33% annualized rate, Apple managed to grow revenue by 11%!  Stimulus probably played some role in tech companies’ strong performance, but beyond the stimulus is the fact that COVID has pushed everyone to spend even more time at home and on the internet.  The behavioral shifts appear to be long-lasting too.  20 years after the dot com bubble, the internet is still not done reshaping society.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: We are clearly in a recession with very low visibility on how we are going to come out of it. Companies are also seeing consumers move away from credit as they also shift away from discretionary spending. On the positive, there are some promising signs of recovery as shorter cycle businesses like auto come back. 

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: It is quite clear by now that we are in a recession. The hope is that this is a different kind of recession and that we will be out of it quickly. But that depends on the trajectory of containing the virus. The good news is that things in China look better after containing the virus.
Editor’s Request: This weekly newsletter is made possible by donations from our readers. If you like what you are reading and want to help us keep it going, click here to donate (Our suggested donation: $10 per month).

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary:  The Coronavirus continues to spread globally and no one knows how bad this could get.  On the one hand we have projections of its exponential growth.  On the other is the hope that seasonality will help stem the tide.  In the face of a potential pandemic, the health of the economy seems like a trivial concern.  Still, this panic is having a material affect on economic activity and thereby markets. The Fed has tried to address this with lower rates, but even the Fed admits monetary policy can’t do much to stop a virus. Where monetary policy will fail, hopefully modern medicine will succeed. Everyone, stay safe out there!

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