And now for some good news…
Wherever we turn these days, we are inundated with horrible news and stories about the world in a health and economic crisis. While the circumstances have changed, we are reminded of the feelings of hopelessness and the negative news cycle of the 2008-09 financial crisis. History has shown us that while we cannot time the market or predict what is going to happen, we can be optimistic that markets will recover in the long-term. Since there is no shortage of bad news, we’d like to focus on some positive news instead.
Over 150,000 people worldwide have recovered from the virus according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Data Map. That number does not reflect people who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms but recovered without ever being tested.
Scientists, medical professionals, and pharmaceutical companies worldwide are aggressively pursuing vaccines, drugs, and treatments to combat this virus. Johnson & Johnson just announced a potential vaccine candidate and are working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to supply one billion vaccines worldwide should it prove effective. The NIH announced that clinical trials of a vaccine for COVID-19 started in Seattle. The National Institute of Health (NIH) began a trial last month using the anti-viral drug remdsivir to treat COVID-19 patients. Regeneron and Sanofi announced a clinical trial of sarilumab, a drug that may be helpful in reducing lung inflammation of COVID-19 patients. Researchers are learning more every day about COVID-19 and how to combat it, which will also help if new strains develop in the future.
The number of states on “lockdown” will dramatically slow the spread of the virus. This continues to be a proactive approach, although not always well received in individual households whose wi-fi signals and patience with one another have been pushed to their limits! These measures will certainly buy some time for additional medical supplies to be manufactured and spread out the number of infections requiring treatment. It will take some time to see the results of the stay at home orders and social distancing, but we expect to see the trajectory of new cases reverse.
New cases and deaths in China and South Korea have slowed dramatically and life is slowly getting back to normal.
The Fed continues to expand its efforts to help the economy during this crisis. They are committed to doing whatever it takes to support financial systems and businesses disrupted by the virus and have acted much swifter than during the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis. Last week, Congress passed a stimulus package of $2 trillion and have not ruled out additional measures if necessary.
Stock markets typically have their best returns coming out of their worst market corrections. If history is any guide, a significant portion of the gains tend to happen in the early months of a recovery, making timing the market difficult. The pent up demand for goods, services, travel, and dining out will be undoubtedly be strong once the recovery starts and people feel comfortable resuming normal activities.
Hard times bring out the best in people. While the news mostly focuses on the worst of humanity during times of crisis, there are many more people in everyday life making heroic efforts to heal a patient, deliver a package, stock groceries, feed someone who is hungry, or just check up on a friend. As Mr. Rogers said, in times of crisis, “look for the helpers”. They always appear. They don’t do it for honor or recognition. They do it because they want to help their fellow man. Those helpers are how we will get through this.
And in good news closer to home, Summit Advisor Ben Murray and his wife Kathleen are expecting their third child this September! It is safe to say, no one is more excited than big brother Noah and future big sister Quinn!