Fear Gets Ahead of the Virus - March 2, 2020

Investors took a sanguine stance when the coronavirus was contained to China. Last weekend (Feb. 22/23), headlines surfaced the virus had spread to Italy, South Korea, and Iran, and sentiment quickly changed. Although some of the veracity of the numbers are being questioned, new cases in China appear to be slowing.

Why the steep selloff last week? There are rising fears that the spread of the coronavirus may disrupt the global and U.S. economy more than had been expected a few weeks ago.

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Containment - February 26, 2020

When the coronavirus was contained to China, investors mostly brushed aside concerns.

More recently, some major firms have begun to reduce revenue/profit forecasts in response to supply disruptions from China and weaker Chinese demand.

Over the weekend, reports of coronavirus outbreaks in Italy, South Korea, and Iran sent stocks down sharply amid fears the virus is no longer contained to China.

  • Worry—might the virus spread into the U.S., crimping economic growth?

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Coronavirus, Italy, South Korea, Iran - February 25, 2020

When the coronavirus was contained to China, investors more or less brushed aside concerns – modest volatility, with the S&P 500 Index setting 7 new highs through Feb 19.

With stocks priced for perfection, any event can come along and create tremors.

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The Basics—Why Should I Invest - February 19, 2020

Before you begin to save and invest, you must have financial goals.

There must be a “why I’m saving” before there is a “how to save.”

  • There will always be hurdles, obstacles, and risks when saving and investing.
  • Are you saving for retirement, your kids’ education, a down payment on a home, or something else?

Understand why you are doing without today so you can achieve something better tomorrow. If not, it’s too easy to get sidetracked.

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A Modest Start for Retailers - February 18, 2020

Retailers began the new year in a modest fashion, as early numbers weren’t too hot nor too cold.

Retail sales rose 0.3% in January. Ex-autos, sales were also up 0.3%. If we throw out autos and gas station sales (which helps filter for changes in gas prices), so-called ‘core sales’ rose a respectable 0.4%.

Note that monthly data can vary. We’ve seen that through much of the economic expansion – two steps forward, one step back. But the overall trend has been favorable.

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