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COVID-19 UPDATE: IHME Takeaways. The more "fear" the better the outcome. Masks as good as vaccines. Israel shows markets did not care about cases...

Click HERE to access the FSInsight COVID-19 Daily Chartbook.

STRATEGY: COVID-19 single most important market factor YTD in 2020 and into YE...
Looking at the first 9 months of 2020, the pandemic has been the single most important factor for markets.  The pandemic drove monetary policy, fiscal stimulus and economic and behavioral changes -- a quadfecta of impacts.  In fact, while the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) comments that Fed policy accounts for 50% of the recovery of stocks, the Fed move is all due to COVID-19.

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And as we look into YE, COVID-19 remains the single biggest influence:

- COVID-19 vaccine/cure will affect 2020 elections
- COVID-19 daily case trends will influence Americans' behavior
- COVID-19 is behind the fiscal stimulus

So in short, COVID-19 remains a central influence.  And unfortunately, it is completely unpredictable.  Fortunately, daily deaths are trending lower and now 89% off their highs.  The moving average for daily deaths was messed up due to the Labor Day holiday closures but this week will be the true trend.  Read below (Point #3) to see what well-known COVID-19 model forecasters expect for US deaths this Winter -- hint, two very different outcomes.

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