Coronavirus & the market: The S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent on Monday (1/27/20), its sharpest decline in nearly four months:
- The C.D.C. urged U.S. travelers to avoid all nonessential trips to China.
- The Shanghai government stopped business from happening until Feb. 10.
- Hong Kong Disney closes.
China catches a cold and the world stops: China catches a cold and the world stops. 2000 sick, 56 dead and two confirmed cases in the US at the time of this writing. How does this happen? How does a virus, halfway around the world, affect the US Stock market? One word; uncertainty.
You may carry the virus for 2-14 days before symptoms show. The amount of trade and travel between the US and China is enormous and the city of origin has 11,900,000 people (LA County has roughly 10.2 Million people).
The stock market likes steady as she goes, a bit of predictability and happy news. However, a virus like this is anything but. At the close of 2018, the S&P 500 stood at the 2351 mark and recent highs have been north of 3300. A climb of close to 1000 points in one year. Recent highs and uncertainty combine for good reasons for a drop. The cure is a quick reaction by the medical profession and all of us taking precautions. I don’t see a reason for panic but I do see a need to think twice about your portfolio and preserving some of the gains in recent years. There are other storms on the horizon as the Impeachment hearings continue, a cantankerous election and signs of a softening economy.
-Indices are unmanaged measures of market conditions, it is not possible to invest directly into an index. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.
1099 season is here: In other news, Friday January 31 marks Phase 1 of 1099 releases and the race to tax filing deadlines of April 15. Other release dates are Feb 15 and 29 (Leap Year) and March 15. Call us if you have questions. We may have access to information a few days before items arrive in the mail.
Harvest Financial news: We are back to full staff at Harvest Financial. Connie is calling to remind clients to come in and meet, Crystal is working on an updated website and improving other manners of communication (suggestions welcome). Matt keeps the operations moving and I am out looking for more clients. If you have a friend with financial concerns we would be honored to spend a few minutes listening and providing solutions.
Final notes: Finally, February and March mark a relatively quiet time in the Valley. However as the mustard comes into bloom, I believe it is the most beautiful season. Take a drive on a Sunday afternoon up Highway 29 to Calistoga, cut through town and travel back down on the Silverado Trail. We are awfully lucky to live here. If you have a bit of photographer in you take a picture and send it along.