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I’m planning to drop some COVID-19 info and updates into some of my posts, hopefully in a way that won’t get people thinking that I’m taking a position in the US election, as it is of vital interest for the economy going forward, and there was a time when that mattered for stock markets too, though that seems less certain at the moment.
I was giving the best guess mortality stats for the virus on Tuesday, and just wanted to break those down a bit further. The bottom line really is that, subject to some variations depending on race, sex and existing co-morbid health conditions, and in the event that anyone is actually infected, as many may well never be infected, then the death rate for those in the 12 to 40 age range is about 0.01%, or one in ten thousand, the death rate for people in the 41 to 60 range rises to about 0.1%, or one in a thousand, and the mortality rate rises sharply for those 60 or over to about 2%, or one in a fifty. That last stat is heavily weighted towards the oldest and least healthy in the population, to the extent that the average age of death from COVID-19 among white people in the Indiana study I was referring to was 78.9, with over half of all COV-19 deaths in Indiana among nursing home residents.
It seems paradoxical, but there are instances in which the lack of detail provides more clarity than the abundance of detail. Because we just finished up the third quarter of the year, I decided to show a variety of graphs with the extremely crude granularity of one quarter per bar, which provides a very different way of looking at the market that can yield some helpful general insights.
Of course, there are some charts in which there’s no surprise whatever, such as QID (the ultra-short on NASDAQ). This just goes to show you, it hasn’t been fruitful to fight the NASDAQ for about two decades.
My apologies for this being the first post in a couple of weeks. Hoping to get this back to a couple of posts a week now.
I’ve been avoiding discussing COVID-19 much in recent months as it is very much an election issue in the US and that’s not a conversation I really want to be involved in. The progress of COVID-19 is very much a market issue as well though, so I’m going to drop in some hopefully not too controversial statistics on COVID-19 mortality rates as these are now becoming a lot clearer as time has passed.
In terms of deaths per confirmed case there have now been just over 33 million cases and about 1 million deaths worldwide at the time of writing. That puts the death rate per confirmed case at just over 3%, which will be low as there is a lag of about 16 days between a case being confirmed and the likely date of a consequent fatality. However in practical terms the actual mortality rate is likely much lower, as a lot of people get COVID-19 without having been tested, particularly those who show slight or no symptoms at all when infected, which may be as high. The CDC is estimating that the true mortality rate is in the 0.6% area in the USA, which is likely about right. What is very interesting though is the variation in the mortality rate between different groups within that overall average.
As we collectively wait for the King of Printing, Jerome Powell, to tell us they’re going to keep an eye on the data as it comes in (sorta like the boys in Gainesville, come to think of it…………) here are some broad, long-term indexes from the folks at Wilshire:
In my last post a week ago I was remarking at how very stretched SPX was and how near it should be to a mean reversion move, and the mean reversion high was then made within a few minutes of my publishing that post. The minimum target for that mean reversion move, last reached after the June high, is a backtest of the 45dma, and that target was reached at the low yesterday. That may of course be the low for this retracement, and I’ll be looking at the setup for that today.