Hello. This is our video for the week ended October 16, and before we get into it I just want to give you a quick update on my surgery a week ago. Turns out I separated the bicep tendon, tore the labrum, tore my rotator cuff – all hitting one backhand. Wow, who knew?
And I’ll tell you what’s really cool about it though is that for the first time in years my wife and my daughters are pampering the heck out of me. Who knew you needed to tear your rotator cuff to make it happen?
But anyway, so thank you for watching this video. So let’s get into what happened this week – a lot. It is apparent that the politicians have done the calculus, and they have decided that there’s not to going to be any stimulus package prior to the elections. Apparently, they feel that coming to a deal before then will be politically not good for them or something, and so they have decided, it appears, not to come to a deal. Well, what are the repercussions of that? We saw jobs numbers come in worse than expected meaning that now the effect of people not having spending power is going to start creating more jobless people, more pain, and I’m very disappointed in our politicians to not come to a deal.
In my opinion it’s inexcusable, and that took the market down dramatically earlier this week. On Friday, today, we also saw that retail sales came in better than expected, so the market goes oh, well that’s good, retails sales are the most important part of our economy, 70 percent is consumer spending so apparently that’s all okay. However, in our view it’s a matter of the chicken and the egg you know, which one comes first, and if you continue to see the unemployment numbers go up and we start to see a dramatic increase in that, then we believe that retail sales will starting falling on the side of that, and so I guess what we have now about 3 weeks ’til the elections and they’ve decided that people can suffer for 3 weeks until that happens.
What can I tell you? So we hope they will come to a deal because as we’ve said many times over the last several weeks, without a stimulus package tens of millions of people will not be able to make their rent payments, they will not be able to make their mortgage payments, they won’t be able to buy food and we’ll see food lines which we are already starting to see, and we could see the economy drop into a severe downturn and it will take the stock market down with it in our view.
So, again, we don’t think that they’re going to let it get to that. I think now the calculus is as I mentioned, is we’ll wait ’til after the elections and then once we know who the president and who the Congress and all the rest is, then we can begin the negotiations again, and it looks like what’s going to happen is it may be December before we get a package now. We’re going to see more joblessness, more bankruptcies, and more pain.
It is what it is folks. So our view is that when we do get the package we’re going to see the stock market, the S&P, the Dow hit new highs potentially and so we’re optimistic about that because we do think there will be a package. It’s just a matter of when do they decide that it is politically expedient. So that’s where we sit.
In the meantime, we believe it is extremely important that we have our invest and protect strategy, because if there is no package for another 4 or 5 months, we could see a significant downdraft in the markets, and our view is that protecting against the downside is paramount. We always believe that growth is important but protecting against loss is even more important, and so because of that we stand ready to take action if we have to.
So that’s our view right now. I guess you could call it moderately optimistic, but no reason to panic and sell and get out at this point yet. So that’s where we are, thank you for watching this video and we’ll talk soon.