The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of This Week’s Earnings Reports

I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend!

It certainly had a different feel this year, what with beaches in some states closed, restaurants restricted, and many iconic celebrations cancelled, including my hometown’s fireworks display. Fortunately, some of my neighbors did their best to make up for the lack of community ordinance, creating an impressive display of sight and sound.

But some things stay the same – like the continuing disconnect between what Big Media is saying on the one hand, and what the market is doing on the other.

This morning, for example, The New York Times leads off its Monday Morning briefing with the question “How badly is America doing?” and the first few articles are all about record-high COVID-19 cases in Texas and Florida.

But the market reality is different. Despite new record infection numbers last week and over the Independence Day weekend, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all opened up 1.4% or so

America’s New COVID Surge is Real – Why Optimists Aren’t Worried

Over the last two weeks, new coronavirus cases in America have gone up by 80%, mainly in the South and West.

California, which was the first to lock down, reported 7,000 new cases on Monday, a new daily record for the state. 2,800 of those new cases came from Los Angeles County, which is the source of almost half of California’s cases.

But this isn’t just because of testing. The number of Californians hospitalized because of COVID-19 has almost doubled in just two weeks.

Arizona is doing even worse. It reported 4,600 new cases on Tuesday, and hospitals are running out of beds. On Monday, Arizona’s health director authorized hospitals to activate their “crisis care” contingency plans.

Meanwhile, hospitals in Houston have run out of beds as cases in Texas are surging too. Florida is in a similar situation, and last Friday reported all-new daily infection highs along with Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah. And on Wednesday July 1, the U.S. hit an all-time for new daily cases at 50,655 according to data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Whether you want to call it a spike, a surge or just the second stage of the first wave, it’s here and it’s bad.

But you wouldn’t know it from looking at the stock markets.

With much of this data coming out on Friday and adding in the news of Texas re-imposing some lockdown limits, the Dow dropped some 700 points. It then made more than 500 of them back on Monday with more gains on Tuesday and Wednesday. Markets don’t seem to be reacting much to all this bad news.

Not yet, at least. And it’s not just because of all the stimulus

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