Friday, June 19, 2020

Why are the stock exchanges so buoyant at this horrible point in time?

I've made several posts over the years about just how random and illogical the stock exchanges are, and we are in another such position now. The Dow, the S&P, even the TSX, are all pretty much back at their pre-pandemic record levels, with a 40% rise over the last couple of months since the huge (exaggerated) losses of March and April.
So, those clever people who trade millions of dollars on the world's stock exchanges think that everything is rosy in corporate-land? That we are in a strong bull trading position? How can they think that, given that: the USA and many other countries are still roiled by !anti-racism street demonstrations and protests with no real end in sight; the Trump presidency continues to implode in slow motion (with no doubt more to come with the release of John Bolton's tell-all book); the COVID pandemic continues apace, with the accompanying deep worldwide recession, huge unemployment, and many companies large and small teetering on the brink of disaster (all of this also with no end in sight); the US-China trade war continues with, guess what, no end in sight; etc, etc.
So, how does the market respond? Buy, buy, buy! Upward, ever upward! As so often, the stock markets proceed on their own course, appatently completely divorced from real-world reality, including consumer confidence indices.
And why? Well, it may just be as simple as the fact that rich people still have plenty of money, despite all the recent goings on in the world, and may even have more liquid assets available, because many people are spending less and saving more at the moment. So, when stock prices are so low, it makes perfect sense to invest in stocks rather than park money in savings accounts which are currently paying next to nothing. And a bit of attention is all the validation the stock markets need to take off again.

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