“I hope everybody still has their Dow 20k hats!” – Jeff
Hey there carnivores,
The markets dropped yesterday to the lowest point in the last five years.
Jeff & Jason
Into the abyss
Stock markets dropped again yesterday. The Dow closed below 20k for the first time in five years as investors look to cash as the only safe haven in these dismal times.
The Dow ended up down 6.3% on the day, dropping 1.3k points, and the S&P once again triggered a circuit breaker which halted trading briefly… for the fourth time this month. Define “irrational market theory.”
Typically a “safe haven” when stocks are dropping, oil and bonds were big losers too. Oil keeps heading lower as Saudi Arabia and Russia refuse to play nice and demand wanes as the entire human race “shelters in place” (read: Netflix and chills).
Even gold is having a sh*t time, as the price of the precious metal dropped 3.1% during the day.
Yesterday literally was the perfect market sh*storm. George Clooney couldn’t have drawn it up better himself.
The bottom line …
So, what now?
Well, according to Bill Ackman, we burn this mother down! Ackman called for Trump to close the country for 30 days in order to halt the spread of the virus and get the economy on solid ground. Markets hate uncertainty, and the slow drip of closings and measures isn’t helping investors feel any better.
Sure, ripping the bandaid off is not an easy call to make, but at least it tells us where the bottom is at, which the Ack-man believes will (hopefully) set things on a path back to the promised land.
☑️No days off…
Even when they’re government-mandated. The Bay Area ordered a ‘shelter-in-place” for residents, but a little hiccup’s never stopped Elon Musk. Tesla’s Fremont, CA plant is up and running, despite the command to stay at home. In an email to all employees, Musk said that they should stay home if they feel ill, but he also said ”I will personally be at work, but that’s just me.”
As of March 16th, as far as Elon knows, no Tesla employees have coronavirus. All the spring breakers in Miami said the same thing.
☑️ Money where their mouths are.
Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill has a solution for the recent market rout. He’s telling CEOs to buy stock in their companies to show Wall Street they’re confident. Weill cited JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s move to buy 500k shares as the 2008 recession ramped up as his inspiration for the advice.
Weill didn’t stop there. He also posited that the SEC should waive “blackout periods” leading up to earning reports, so that leadership could buy up stocks. Currently, leading up to the release of financials, execs at public firms are restricted from making moves to prevent the manipulation of company financials. Reducing banking regulations at the tip of a recession, what could go wrong?
☑️ Speaking of JPMorgan…
…it will be closing 20% of its retail branches while reducing staffing as coronavirus slowdowns pick up. The largest bank in the US, by assets, is the first to make such a drastic move, though it says it’s only temporary.
20% of JPM locations come out to around 1k banks. Currently, there are 4,976 branches and 256,981 employees in the US. The locations to be shut down have yet to be announced, but something tells me Seattle is in the crosshairs.
Textron Aviation is sending workers on furlough through the end of May. The business-jet maker is suffering from a lack of orders lately. Workers will be held out from work on a staggered schedule from March 23rd through May 29th.
While there’s no official number, Textron said “most” of its 12k US workers will be heading home. Hope the 3 workers left like Zoom meetings. On the news, Textron shares dropped 8%. Really? A company with no employees doesn’t impress investors? What a surprise.
☑️ Come on in, the water’s fine.
Square was approved Wednesday by federal and state bank regulators to do business as a bank in Utah. The earthquake was unrelated, we think. According to reports, Square will be ready to launch in 2021, and the firm will be supervised by the FDIC. Square’s been pushing for more than 2 years to get its charter, and along the way it’s been battled by lobbyists and community groups. So they finally made it, good for the little fintech that could.
In order to get sign off, Square had to agree to a few stipulations, like maintaining a “significantly higher” level of capital than other institutions, while also being examined by, you guessed it, the FDIC. Some regulators weren’t on board, even after Square met its requirements, with some arguing that it hadn’t been profitable historically. That never stopped Uber.ow 20k hats!” – J