|Dow||-223.03 to 16,321.07|
|S&P 500||-31.40 to 1,874.73|
|Nasdaq||-62.58 to 4,213.66|
|10-YR Yield||-.021 to 2.286%|
|Gold||+$12.20 to $1,233.90|
|Crude Oil||-$0.76 to $85.06|
Thomas Eric Duncan is dead. But the Ebola virus the Dallas resident carried didn’t die with him.
Instead, it made the leap to one of his nurses at Texas health Presbyterian Hospital. And that is perhaps one of the scariest developments in this epidemic yet.
Why? Because the nurse supposedly used an extensive amount of protective gear — a gown, gloves, mask, and face shield — and because health care officials can’t explain why or how she got sick!
She has been identified as 26-year-old Nina Pham. And she was reportedly in isolation at home due to her extensive contact with Duncan during his illness. Then she reported to the hospital for treatment in an isolation room after she developed a fever, and labs confirmed she had the virus.
News of the new Dallas infection followed earlier news of a Spanish health-care worker contracting the disease from a patient in Madrid. It’s possible the additional cases are related to the way in which the nurses put on or removed their gear.
|U.S. hospitals may not be able to safely treat Ebola patients.|
But to be frank, officials don’t really have a concrete explanation. That has the National Nurses United worried. A whopping 76 percent of the 2,000 members that the largest nurses’ organization surveyed said they weren’t being told enough about how to deal with Ebola patients.
While officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and throughout the health care system wrestle with these new developments, the economic risk of the Ebola outbreak is rising. There’s a real possibility that travel and leisure businesses will suffer just as they did during previous outbreaks like SARS and avian flu. And that, in turn, could put even more downside pressure on the markets.
So if you haven’t already taken some profits off the table and cut some dead weight in your holdings — as I’ve been recommending for some time — I wouldn’t wait much longer. Even if the Ebola outbreak is contained, we face plenty of other threats from ISIS to European recession that could weigh on the markets.
|“We face plenty of other threats from ISIS to European recession that could weigh on the markets.”|
So what are your thoughts? If health-care workers start falling victim to Ebola, does it mean the rest of us are at even more risk? Or are you still confident the health care experts can get this outbreak under control?
What — if anything — does the latest Ebola news mean for your investing strategy and your personal choices? Are you planning to cut risk? Travel less? Let me and your fellow investors know here when you get a chance!
|Our Readers Speak|
What’s next for the markets? Is a crash looming? A modest correction? Nothing even that concerning? That was a hot topic on the website over the weekend, and for good reason given all the recent volatility.
Some of you are clearly getting worried about the weakness we’ve seen in September and October. For example, Reader Gary said: “Been heavy in cash for about two weeks. ETFs look weak. Very few stocks are holding up and still in bases. I’ll wait on the sideline.”
Reader John added: “I trade the emini futures market. I agree that ‘the negatives are starting to gain the upper hand.’ I can see it in the charts for the indexes: SPY, DIA, QQQ, and IWM — particularly the Russell 2000.
“It’s starting to look ugly — and it’s just starting. It looks particularly foreboding in the daily and weekly charts, but in the monthly charts, it’s merely a long-awaited ‘correction’ of this long bull run that we’ve had. I think it’ll get ugly … but it’s great if you’re selling/shorting the market!”
Good stocks are getting thrown out with bad ones, as we sometimes see in corrections. That’s a clear cause of frustration, with Reader William S. saying: “It’s mind boggling that a company like Alcoa (AA, Weiss Ratings: C-) can post such over the top estimates of EPS and earnings and still get smashed down about 2 points over the last couple of days.
“Their future outlook is fantastic and yet sellers are breaking their necks to get rid of it. Has common investment sense gone out the window? Is it ISIS, Ebola, foreign bad economic news, or what? It just doesn’t make any sense at all.”
So what can you do to adapt and survive? Reader JW offered the following advice: “J.M. Keynes said it best: ‘Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.’
“That said, my three tenets of investing are: 1) never time the market; 2) never confuse a BULL market with brilliance; and 3) it is NOT different this time. Choose your investing path, but just because charts reflect one thing does not mean the market trend has changed. Capital flow toward the U.S. is no doubt influencing the market, and may do so for some time to come. Always be prepared for the unexpected ‘Black Swan’ event!”
Thanks for the ideas, JW. I’ve been recommending investors take some chips off the table as volatility rises and more sectors start rolling over. I’m not flying the “Crash Flag” just yet … but I am closely watching market developments at this notoriously difficult time of year.
|Other Developments of the Day|
What do the tinkerers at the world’s central banks do when their bazookas are out of rockets? That’s the subject of this Wall Street Journal story.
I particularly like the one quote from the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde. She said “There is too little economic risk-taking, and too much financial risk-taking.” Or translated into English, “QE does Jack Squat for the real economy, but does allow Goldman Sachs bankers to earn nice bonuses every year by shuffling paper for the 1 percent-ers” — exactly what I’ve been saying for years!
Still hearing more chatter about whether or not the Saudis will stand for lower world oil prices. This article suggests they might be willing to accept sub-$100 crude for longer than previously believed. But other members of the OPEC cartel aren’t as sanguine about recent declines, and appear to be advocating for production cuts at the group’s November meeting.
Not that people care as much about the major ratings agencies as much these days. But it is worth noting that Standard and Poor’s cut its rating on Finland below AAA late Friday, and also put France’s AA+ rating on watch negative.
It’s Merger Mond … OK, never mind. I can’t bring myself to use the cliché again. But master limited partnership Targa Resources (TRGP, Weiss Ratings: B-) said it would buy Atlas Energy (ATLS, Weiss Ratings: C-) and a pipeline affiliate for $7.7 billion. The deal would expand its reach in the energy transportation business.
Separately, Steris (STE, Weiss Ratings: B) said it would buy Synergy Health Plc of the U.K. for $1.9 billion. Steris will relocate its corporate headquarters to the U.K. to save money on taxes, and will bolster its medical equipment sterilization business with the deal.
Until next time,
P.S. How do you expand the size of your retirement nest egg in the relatively short time left before retirement and also ramp up your income IN retirement? Dr. Weiss has an answer you’re going to like, and it won’t cost you a red cent.
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