Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Watching the stock market the last couple of days has been like getting to the top of the roller coaster, and then feeling your stomach drop as gravity takes over. I've only got a small sum invested directly, but seeing that number fall, I can imagine what the retirement accounts might be doing. Oh well, eventually, it will go the other way...or it won't. The current bull market is the longest one in history, so perhaps it's overdue for a correction (10% fall, which would be approximate 3000 points for the Dow), or worse, a 20% fall, which would signify the bull has run its last, and a bear market has taken over. Since the high water mark was 29551 at the end of the day o February 12, that would require the market, specifically the Dow Jones average to fall all the way to 24000, which would certainly freak out a lot of people.
The coronavirus outbreak spreading past China, to significantly hit Italy and South Korea seems to be the trigger for the stock selloff the last couple of days, which makes it seem like more panic days might be in the offing, if clusters of coronavirus patients start showing up in other countries, especially industrialized nations with economies big enough to impact the overall world economy, if they were to take a hit. The disease itself is bad enough, the secondary costs of its spread could have an impact far above its immediate toll. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
I'm not particularly worried about it, in and of itself, although as a person who has had asthma issues since i was a kid, the idea of a respiratory illness that can kill does send a thrill of fear up my spine. On the other hand, I've got elderly parents, so...yeah, maybe I do have something to worry about if the virus spreads to the US in any meaningful numbers.
But in the mean time, I guess I'll just keep on washing my hands, and hope that the stock market finds a place to stop and take a breath. That won't be today, since it just dove another 150 points just since I started typing this entry a half hour ago (I got distracted by an article on my phone...did you know that the phenomenon of using middle names might have started in Italy, with parents facing the dilemma of naming a kid after a saint, thought to give them spiritual protection, or gracing the child with the family name? Solution, give 'em both!).