Morning Report: Spring Selling Season takes a breather

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 2359 -52.4
Oil (WTI) 21.91 2.39
10 year government bond yield 1.14%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.58%


Stocks are lower this morning as volatility continues. Bonds and MBS are down.


Late yesterday, the Fed announced measures to support short-term money market mutual funds. Global central banks have been cutting rates and conducting currency interventions.


Initial Jobless Claims came in at 288k last week, a big increase but hardly recessionary. The big tell will what happens next week, which will include people who were laid off this week.


The government has imposed a 60 day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.


Redfin has suspended its iBuying program. This was the program where Redfin would buy homes directly from sellers and handle the sale. I have to imagine Zillow won’t be far behind. While the Fed is pulling out all the stops to keep the financial markets functioning, if lines of credit are at risk of getting pulled, this strategy absolutely does not work.


The NYSE has shut down floor operations and is going all electronic in response to the virus. To be honest, I am surprised at how well the stock market has functioned during this whole sell-off. I thought the algorithmic traders would disappear with this volatility. So far, so good.


The Spring Selling Season it taking a hiatus due to Coronavirus. After a 27% increase in traffic, it was flat over the past week. Redfin has canceled open houses, and at some point appraisals will become an issue if appraisers don’t want to go into homes.


Dismayed by the lack of inventory at your local supermarket? Don’t be.


31 Responses

  1. “The government has imposed a 60 day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.”

    Left Twitter is noting the irony of Trump doing what Obama wouldn’t during the 2008/2009 crash.


  2. McWing, this seems to be the point you have been making:


  3. It will be interesting to contrast the Dutch approach and results to the rest of Europe:

    They are explicitly deciding to not shut down the country.


  4. word of the day: sequester.


  5. I laughed.


    • How do you know? I’m not saying it will happen but how do you know it’s bullshit?


      • China. This infection went unchecked, heck, unoticed for weeks. If they had a comparable infection rate to what the governor is saying along with the their mortality rate of 3% it would mean 750,000 deaths, the graves would be visible from space. If there is that many infections and the current level of mortality than it’s no more dangerous than the flu, maybe less so.


        • I hope you’re right McWing. I’m not trying to borrow trouble here but I’m trying to be practical and responsible in how we conduct ourselves.

          BTW, I think it’s interesting that we believe anything coming out of China……… new cases yesterday………….okay, why would we believe that?

          Are they graves or fires?

          I know Italy is having trouble with what to do with the dead.

          I’m trying really hard not to panic here, but in CA it’s not that easy.

          We actually had some work to do today, the first phone call and an email order in a week so that kept us busy and then we watched the movie “Green Book”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great movie even after already seeing it once.

          I talked to the girl who does my hair last night……….that’s right I’m not still a blonde………..but I used to be. She’s meeting me at the shop on Sunday at 6:30 am so no one else will be there………..haha. I think Walter might bring us mimosas!


        • BTW, I think it’s interesting that we believe anything coming out of China……… new cases yesterday………….okay, why would we believe that?

          I don’t beleieve the numbers but do believe it’s trending down there.

          Are they graves or fires?

          Either would be visible from space. You’d have to believe that Trump wouldn’t demagogue that info.


        • To be honest, I think we need to look at countries other than China. We can’t really trust their numbers or data at all I don’t think.

          I think we get a better sense of how this virus will affect us based on what countries like South Korea, Singapore, Italy (unfortunately) and other nations in the EU are doing. We have scary reports from Iran but who knows what that means. I personally think we should only plot numbers from countries that we believe are giving us accurate data.


        • Italy is another good example. A large number of Chines from Wuhan work in Italy, many went back to China for Chinese New Year and then returned. Heck, in early February there was a push to hug Chinese people in Italy (link is from the S.China Morning Post, a Chines govt organ)

          That’s weeks of unchecked viral spreading, infections should be close to 10 million by now, given the ridiculous timeframe given by Gavin. Assuming 10 million at the current mortality rate of 8%, that’s 800,000 dead. That would be 10’s of thousands a day.


        • Also, btw, I don’t trust our President as far as I can throw him but I do think he has finally taken this seriously, and I also believe he has some smart people behind him. If he would stop talking about what a tremendous job he’s doing I would be happier. I thing the fact that he signed the Defense Act but hasn’t actually pulled the trigger to supply the hospitals with what they need from our manufacturers says a lot.

          Color me disappointed!


        • These supposed shortages are all theoretical, based on modeling potentials.

          I’ve struggled to find current shortages of anything really, just expected shortages.

          Here’s another expected shortage from yesterday from ground zero in Seattle.


        • BTW

          Newsom said Thursday evening: “That number in and of itself shouldn’t be overly alarming — the vast majority of us, the overwhelming majority of us, won’t have symptoms, will be perfectly fine. But there is a subset that we’re concerned about” who will be more seriously affected.

          Liked by 1 person

        • California is now on complete lockdown. Hang in there Lms!


  6. Here’s a letter that Gov Newsome wrote to Preident Trump today requesting that the hospital ship Mercy be deployed here in So Cal rather than in Seattle. I hope he’s being an alarmist re the number of folks infected here in CA over the next 8 weeks but who knows?

    Edit: I couldn’t copy the link but basically he’s predicting about 25.5 million cases here in CA and anticipating being overrun with cases that our medical facilities cannot handle.

    Edit again: McWing linked it above!

    I am primarily worried about my daughter in SF, who is being tested again tomorrow and I’m worried about Walter as well. I’ve tried to keep him home but he insists on going to the grocery store, post office and hopefully the bank (if we get a check in the mail….LOL) everyday. I quit writing shopping lists and say “nope, we don’t need a thing here” but he still goes out looking for TP or whatever……………ugggghhhhh Today it was canned goods…………soup and tuna!

    Here in Riverside County, we have about 8 new cases, 2 more in my area of Western Riverside and a death at a nursing home in Rancho Mirage (closer to San Diego but still in our county). They’re still waiting for other results from that home.

    Now that testing seems to be ramping up and we’re getting a better snapshot of the number of cases I’m hoping we’ll have more data to plot the curve. I understand that the new cases are probably because of the increased testing rather than actual new cases so hopefully once we get past the next few days we’ll have a better understanding of the real numbers.

    I continue to think the administration has dropped the ball on both testing and now the hospital supplies to fight this. Doctors and nurses across the country are basically begging for protective gear. That shouldn’t happen here.


  7. I also know that I kind of freaked out last night regarding the economic impact. I’m very disappointed that once again, the taxpayer seems to be bailing out industries who used the boon from our President’s tax breaks to buyback stock rather than saving for a rainy day…………….I get it though, we are all guilty of spending rather than saving. We can’t really live without the airline industry…………..but I think we could probably live without the cruise industry…………apparently they don’t pay much in taxes anyway……….

    I also think it’s so bizarre that the R’s are actually bailing out the American people, seemed like they had a lot more objections to that in 2008/2009. Ironic!


  8. I have this great idea………maybe the men and women in the service industry (waiters, waitresses, hotel maids, retail services or whatever) could offer their services to help with child care for the men and women who are still working the essential services………..doctors, nurses, cops, pharmacies, grocery stores, DMV, etc. It could be a win win I think!


  9. Worth noting:

    “UVA Health Independently Develops New COVID-19 Tests
    March 19, 2020
    Wesley P. Hester

    Thanks to a whirlwind effort on the part of a team of physicians and laboritorians, with collaboration and support from across the University of Virginia community, UVA Health is now administering its own COVID-19 tests.”


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