March 24, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Good morning,

The U.S. stock markets were whipsawed again yesterday as the Senate failed to reach agreement on an economic stimulus package.  Mid-day, the Dow seemed to stage an impressive rally, nearly bringing the index back to positive territory, when it was announced the stalemate continued and no deal was reached.  For the day, the Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ declined 582.07, 67.52 and 18.85 points, respectively.

Also announced yesterday was the (very) initial success of certain medications alone or used in combination showing promise in the treatment for COVID 19.  Although criticized for being a small sample size and not a controlled study, and therefore not conclusive, a New York physician has reported treating 350 patients with a combination of medications, one of which has been in medical use for nearly 70 years.  This physician reports that of the 350 patients treated, none required a ventilator, none died and none required being taken to the hospital.

This is certainly not to say that this physician has found the cure to the Coronavirus, rather it may shed a ray of light on the eventual finding of the treatment and a vaccine that will be the cure.

In a substantial shift in outlook, it is being suggested today that younger workers in some industries may return to work much earlier than previously expected, allowing older and those at-risk a bit more time before returning to work.  This effort is being coined, “not letting the cure be worse than the virus,” and suggests getting people back to work and the economy back on track as soon as possible.

As of 6am PDT today, the Dow futures are “limit up” – 930 points up – on the optimism of the Senate reaching an economic stimulus package and the potential of workers getting back to work sooner than previously expected.  Let’s see what happens today.

Please be safe and healthy.