E Market Briefing For Monday, Jan. 4

Authoritarianism pulling China out of WuFlu's depth; the U.S. needs wiser-than-ox power.

Pandemic, protests, politics, pandering - persistently peppered prices prior to limited range-bound swings that retained high level stability into year-end.

As we go into 2021, our view that the Fed Put underpinned everything; Covid and consumer sentiment included; while the future now remains in the hands of how satisfactorily Covid is coped-with going forward. The way people seem to respond is 'as if' vaccines are a one-and-done cycle; as of course isn't the case at all. And the Fed isn't going to back-off until we see solid recovery; not merely the 'relative' improvements you see versus preceding Quarters.

You want confidence to return but that's going to require not only adherence it seems to vaccines; but within a few months the reality it requires an antidote or 'antibody therapeutic' that is low-dose and easily administered; to really be able to 'open society'. Yes people are going out now who have recovered, and many 'think' they can't catch it again, or ignore that they may be carriers (they believe they're not; but for how long or in all cases, isn't established) so hence there they were at the heart of New Years celebrations sometimes.

Let me take a moment to express my appreciation for your many reflections in the year past, especially as related not just to forecasts, but to the tribulations of dealing with the pandemic, and trying to stay ahead of the trends. This will be the 51st year since I launched The Inger Letter on Channel 22 financial TV in Los Angeles, and it is with your inspiration that I plan to continue to year 52.

And that takes us to the Covid-challenge yet again; because it's not clear that we'll get the desired universal benefit from vaccines; although it is clear that's not occurring as rapidly as many desire; especially those triggering near-panic (such as we're seeing here in Florida) among those eligible to get inoculated. I am stunned at how disorganized it is; and that there's not a basic structure in this era (such as an 'App') not only to track health 'status' but timing vaccines. I know this is being rolled-out locally in some instances; but really; this slow?

Recognizing that, despite relatively few investors interested in blended market analysis (technicals and fundamentals); I've continued what I can to adjust to the messages from the market (not tell the market what to do); as I assess the overall picture for the S&P or more. I evolved to look at a few more individual stocks, as the debate swung back to active investing a bit.

If in 2021 the economy outperforms stocks; that's for later in the year and for sure the market is anticipating 'post-Covid' behavior and (hopefully) not really too euphoric about the impact of vaccines on suppressing the pandemic. The smaller stocks 'should' do better for now; if one considers the 'January Effect', which of course is traditional and not precise to contemplate in this backdrop.

That makes sense because 2021 may well see limited potential from what I've called technology 'Grand Dames' of this era (beyond FANG stocks); and back into more stocks that will do well depending on 'making it' to ultimate recovery. Of course that's already been anticipated by many; often prematurely.

Where things go in 2021 won't simply continue what dominated 2020; so it's a bit clear already; even though the duration of 'Covid' restraint will matter as far as persisting good earnings for some that uniquely benefited from pandemic.

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