Marc Cuniberti: The resiliency of America
The resiliency of Americans continues to astound me.
With the wicked arrival of COVID-19, the market plunged from a February all-time high (Dow Jones Industrial Average- DOW) to a 38% correction in a mere three weeks.
From there, it seemed as if the COVID event turned from imminent threat into a golden opportunity for the nimble investor. While Main Street reeled in a seemingly unending economic death spiral, Wall Street looked upon the threat through rose colored glasses. Investors in the right place saw their carefully selected stocks rocket upwards. Although the initial rally encompassed only a few sectors, as the months ticked by, more and more sectors caught the rally bug. Fast forward to today and it’s hard to find a stock that hasn’t blasted upwards in stunning fashion.
Indeed, the optimism, at least for some investors, is palatable.
Main Street occupants weren’t so giddy. With ongoing shutdowns and various occupancy restrictions, and only one round of stimulus, many small business owners reeled under bleeding balance sheets brought on by butt-less seats and empty store aisles.
And although the shutdowns have gone on much longer than anyone anticipated, consumers, at least some of them, exhibit an attitude than can be described in no other terms than die-hard.
Initially held at home from the lockdowns, about halfway through the calamity, necessity became the mother of invention.
Some restaurants initiated drive-through services where they once had none. Municipalities, not wanting to see their business base decimated, eased restrictions and allowed on-street dining and even alcohol to go, which had previously been a strict no-no.
Stores adapted social distancing and the sticker people ramped up on the production of the necessary labels and dots to fill the need. Plastic manufacturers worked overtime to provide the millions of shields and screens, while hand sanitizer initially in short supply, was bottled up in truck loads by the familiar disinfectant companies, joined by some inventive liquor producers who cranked out what could only be called a “Grade F” type of vodka to fill the need while resurrecting some sort of an income stream for their factories.
Car dealers started home delivery; repair shops initiated no-touch, drive-through auto services; and meal deliveries kept ride sharing companies at least somewhat busy.
Television execs initiated strict testing guidelines so at least some filming could be restarted and evening hit shows filled their audiences with Zoom monitors. Even some sports arenas sat cardboard people in the end zones and filled at least some seats with faux human likenesses.
Heck, even the Macy Thanksgiving Parade took place. It was void of the crowds and human balloon anchors, but they replaced those by enhancing the TV coverage and using robotic float pullers.
A massive undertaking by the pharmaceutical giants of the world all turned their resources in concert towards one goal: Find a vaccine that works and find it as quick as possible.
Indeed, similar to the ramp up of production at the beginning of WW2, in a mere eight months, the gears of much of our economy had been slammed in reverse by COVID-19, only to move forward in stunning fashion as America was forced to shift gears and shift gears it did. Through calamity after calamity, from devastating wildfires, to a wave of deadly hurricanes, and the most contentious election in recent memory, America has risen up and met the challenge. Yes, there will be casualties. There always is in the midst of cataclysmic catastrophes.
But we will survive.
And like the proverb “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” America has learned much, and will immerge on the other end of COVID-19, victorious.
And be that much better for it.
Opinions expressed here are opinion only, and not those of any bank or investment advisory firm. Nothing stated is meant to insure a guarantee, or to be construed as investment advice. Neither Money Management Radio (“Money Matters”) receive, control, access or monitor client funds, accounts, or portfolios. For a list of the services offered by Mr. Cuniberti, call (530)559-1214. California Insurance License #0L34249 and Medicare Agent. Insurance services offered independently through Marc Cuniberti and not affiliated with any RIA firm or entity. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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