E Market Briefing For Friday, Jan. 15

  • On the COVID-19 front, there's one big story: the J&J single shot vaccine that in Phase 1/2 preliminary data looks great, more comment later.
  • Well maybe there is second story: Ohio researchers said today they've discovered two new variants of the coronavirus, one of which has become the dominant strain in Columbus.
  • And I suppose Moderna's CEO saying we may never get rid of COVID-19 fits in with arguments for Inovio's upcoming DNA vaccine, maybe superior as it allows boosting and cumulative better immunity without toxicity (maybe a new group in Washington will expedite that a bit?) (MRNA).
  • The new strain prevalent in Columbus appears to spread more easily, and this new strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases, but it has three mutations that represent a significant evolution, and that's a concern pending testing to see how the existing vaccines do with it.
  • Little LightPath also had a 15% rally which settle into about 12%, and on no news, which is more interesting (LPTH).
  • And I suspected the market would be mostly neutral this week amidst the chaos leading to the plug being pulled on Donald Trump, who of course is taking no personal responsibility for what happened (he encouraged it).
  • For now, policies have not impacted the stock market, which I suppose investors hope just hangs onto next week's post-Inauguration behavior.

There's no way we would have dropped as much as S&P did if it were not for COVID-19, and the shifting fortunes and sector focus that resulted from pandemic. In fact, with money poured (excessively) into vaccines and not treatments but with the Fed statement underpinning Stimulus and a 'Fed Put' going forward, we not only nailed the March 23rd (Inger Bottom) low, but warned against the bearish case made by many prominent analysts, but all so far were 'off-base'.

Now we're going to get a correction, but ideally it will hold, and I suppose you could say I've been a 'centrist' on the market, not just politics. On the market it has been a realization that Fed policy must remain stable, that expectations of big spending later this year will help, and that the pandemic will be addressed a lot more aggressively, but without shutting-down the economy. It's touch for sure, but ideally will be contained as the sector rotation won't deny retreat, but temper it. Plus it's not a shock to the system.

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