All heaven broke loose ahead of Tuesday’s opening, starting with a gusher of headlines suggesting the worst is behind us. The Wall Street Journal led with a story about how trucking activity has picked up, and even the hotels and cruise lines are stirring. The pick-up in tempo is slight so far, as the Journal was forced to concede, but sufficient nonetheless for the editors to stuff a hat trick’s worth of subliminally bullish data into stories played above the fold. Elsewhere on the page, in the wrap-up briefs, it was alleged that air travel is creeping back to life, although almost no one you or I know is even thinking about flying for the next few months. Rounding out the Journal’s v-shaped-recovery lollapalooza was an item about mortgage activity picking up, although there was no mention that most of it involves re-fi’s.
Such is the news in a time of cholera, and in fairness to the Journal, its rosy perception of the things is merely following the lunatic trajectory of the stock market. Rick’s Picks remains very bullish in nearly any event, despite all the fake news and ‘re-opening hubris’. We’ve been forecasting a nearly 2000-point rally in the Dow, albeit with one foot on the fire escape. Short-covering will remain the name of the game for the time being, turbocharged by Fed purchases of corporate bonds as well as Treasury paper held by companies with surplus cash.