Friday, February 5, 2021

Morning Note: Contagious...

We'll stick mostly to numbers this morning; our macro update, coming your way later today, will have more meat to it.

Yes, stocks have had a very good week (following the opposite last week) as the powers-that-be are deploying their once-a-year (although they can use it twice this year, as it wasn't utilized in 2020) privilege ("budget reconciliation") to pass their COVID relief bill with a mere simple majority. 

I.e., stimulus is presently what explains improving data (although this morning's jobs number was a disappointment) and record stock prices... and more's on the way. 

Asian stocks rallied overnight, with 13 of the 16 markets we track closing in the green.

Europe's just leaning to the green this morning, with 11 of the 19 markets we follow trading higher.

U.S. major averages are all green (Nasdaq barely) to start the day: Dow up 109 points (0.35%), SP500 up 0.31%, SP500 Equal Weight up 0.62%, Nasdaq up  0.06%, Russell 2000 up 0.75%.

Oil futures are up 1.07%, gold's up 0.78%, silver's up 1.30%, copper futures are up 0.84% and the ag complex is up 0.30%.

The 10-year treasury is flat (yield flat) and the dollar is taking a notable breather this morning, down 0.45%.

Led by miners, silver, energy, materials and consumer staples, our core portfolio is up 0.49% as I type. 

To understand the amazing action we've witnessed of late around GameStop and a few other names, not to mention what explains a stock market so divorced, in terms of its valuation, from underlying conditions, I highly recommend Gustave Le Bon's 1895 (yes human nature simply does not change) classic, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.

Here's a snippet: 
"In a crowd every sentiment and act is contagious, and contagious to such a degree that an individual readily sacrifices his personal interest to the collective interest."

Here's another:

" be induced to commit acts contrary to his most obvious interests and his best-known habits. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will."

Have a nice day!

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