One of the main reasons why I’ve turned more cautious on stocks is due to a growing number of extended lockdowns around the country. Logically, we can conclude that most lockdowns should end by July 31 given that is when enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire.
However, investing is all about beating expectations. I had been secretly hoping most of the country would reopen by June 15, after roughly three months of staying at home. The economic destruction so far has been immense. Keeping the economy closed for much longer than three months feels like an extreme overreach by our politicians.
We’ve slowly gone from locking down in order to flatten the curve to locking down indefinitely until there is a vaccine for COVID-19. What happened to locking down until there is enough hospital bed and ventilator capacity? The healthcare system is no longer overwhelmed. Tens of millions of lives are being ruined.
If Congress successfully passes another massive stimulus package with enhanced unemployment benefits extending through the end of the year, we know that lockdowns around the country will be extended. Be mentally prepared for what’s to come.
In an effort to provide different perspectives, I reached out to folks who support indefinite lockdowns to fight the coronavirus. Their stories will also help explain why the stock market has held up so well, in spite of so much economic disaster we hear in the news on a daily basis.
If you’ve been on the fence to support keeping the economy shut for longer than three months, perhaps these stories will persuade you to help minimize the risk to our essential workers. Or, maybe these stories will have an opposite effect and piss you off. Perhaps we’ll find a middle ground.