This Punch Could Wake The Market Up

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Posted: Mar 30, 2020 1:41 PM
This Punch Could Wake The Market Up

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Last night, I had one of those vivid dreams that seem so lifelike, it was hard for me to grapple with the fact I was still asleep by the time I realized it was only a dream. 

Before hitting the sack, I saw Dow Jones futures off 250 points, which was an improvement from a lower start, and nothing that anyone could have expected against the backdrop of news.

In my dream, I began writing my morning commentary and equating this moment to something former middleweight boxing champ Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler said as a commentator after he retired from the ring.  One of the bouts on this fight card saw an outmatched pugilist getting pummeled and essentially was out on his feet.

That’s when Marvelous (he eventually made this his legal name) noted that a would-be final blow woke the fighter up.  Instead of a coup de grace, this clean straight punch seemed to awaken the beaten fight.  It was like something from a movie, and Marvelous saw it, and explained that it wasn’t so unusual for a boxer to be punched so hard it becomes a wakeup call of sorts.

The boxer that was out on his feet found a way to come back and seize an improbable victory.  Hagler sported the moment this happened.  He was one of the greatest boxers of all time, but his commentary style, which was brutally honest and politically incorrect, was maybe two decades too soon for the general public.  The marvelous one eventually moved to Italy where he became a movie star.

I hope he is doing well.

Meanwhile, I learned something that day I always thought about during moments when the odds seemed to be too overwhelming.  What might be a knockout punch could be the blow that changes everything for the better.

The reason that learning moment appeared in that dream is because equity futures had turned around and were significantly higher.  How could that be after Dr. Fauci’s prediction of a worst-case outcome of up to 200,000 American deaths, and President Trump gave up on the idea of a swift return to business as usual by pushing out the government social distancing guidelines to the end of April?

Logic would dictate these actions could have been a knockout blow.  In my dream, they triggered something different.  The stock market rallied as the nation rallied in a united front to survive and committed to come back stronger than ever.  This is how the nation and market have reacted to terror attacks since 9-11, and now, it was sending the same message – you hurt us, but you can’t beat us.

Portfolio Approach

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Today’s Session

I loved the early spunk exhibited by the market this morning, which is not unlike the action seen Monday through Thursday for the last two weeks.