US Stock Market Inoculated Against Coronavirus?

Posted in , By David Robinson

The spread of the coronavirus beyond China is dominating the headlines, but US stocks are behaving as if the virus is not a material economic threat to the US. An Axios article theorizes that one reason is that there is no better alternative to US stocks. (Axios) The virus has made its way to the US with at least 11 confirmed cases, including 1 in Massachusetts. (New York Times) The Washington Post calls for a reality check, arguing that the flu is a bigger risk in the US than the coronavirus “for now”. (Washington Post)

  • US Economy Looks Solid: The latest data indicates that the US economy grew 2.3% in 2019. That is down from 2.9% in 2018 but is still a good number. Many observers believe that the trade conflicts have hurt business investment, perhaps offsetting some of the potential growth attributable to the tax cut. (Washington Post) Especially encouraging is the surprise private payroll jump this week, the best monthly gain in 5 years. (CNBC)  And Maine’s and New Hampshire’s jobless rates remain historically low. (Portland Press Herald)
  • China Global Domination Coming? As the US retreats into isolationism, China is aggressively expanding its global economic and military power. For those interested in geo-politics, Axios details the myriad ways that China seeks to extend its influence and fill the vacuum of waning US influence. (Axios)
  • Caffeine! No, this isn’t a cry for more coffee on my part. But I am enthusiastic to listen to Caffeine, a new audiobook by the inestimable Michael Pollan. Based on a lengthy review, Pollan wrestles with benefits and costs of caffeine consumption, noting that it helps us work more effectively but may exact a toll when it comes to sleep. (Michael Pollan) (Washington Post)
  • Refinancing Opportunity: Current low interest rates hurt fixed income investors but present an opportunity to refinance debt. Contact us if you think you may be missing an opportunity to lower your rate and need help assessing the pros and cons of whether a refinance is worth the effort and/or cost. (CNBC)
  • Is Your Home at Risk of Flooding? Concerned about whether your home is at risk for flooding? Check out FloodIQ for an opinion and some useful information. I don’t know anything about FloodIQ but see that it has been created using open source data from some reputable sources. I would not ignore this risk. (FloodIQ)
  • Debunking Credit Score Myths: Credit scores seem like a black box mystery at times. But this article does a great job dispelling 13 common myths. For example, you frequently hear that checking your score lowers it, but this isn’t true. Might want to save this article as a future resource. (CNBC)
  • Rolling Stone Praises the Portland Music Scene: Rolling Stone magazine has been reviewing cities “where live music has exploded”. Next up? None other than Portland, Maine. Per Rolling Stone, Portland is drawing big city promoters and “ambitious young songwriters”. Loved this article. (Rolling Stone)

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About the Author David Robinson

A wealth advisor with more than 25 years of experience in the financial field, Dave serves as Robinson Smith Wealth Advisors’ Co-Chief Investment Officer and is a Co-Managing Member of the firm. As a Certified Financial Planner® and non-practicing attorney, he provides clients with deep expertise in areas including investment management and retirement planning.
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