One of the top market rules for me, maybe even "rule #1," is never to try to impose my views on the markets.  And perhaps, it is more useful to try to decipher the message from market behavior.  If I had to describe equities over the past week, they seemed to have been treating fiscal stimulus as a binary event. Regardless of the fact that this seems more of a “when not if” question to me. More on this below.

On the COVID-19 front, the trend in daily cases continued rising this week. This has been the case for the past few weeks and I see two major takeaways: (i) US cases could reach 70,000 within 2 weeks, matching the July highs, (ii) Because the spread is primarily in 11 states, we might be nearing peak velocity in those states.

We are still in wave 3 of COVID-19 in the US. And this wave, so far, is primarily a spread of cases in states that were largely unscathed in wave 1 (NY tristate +MA +RI) and wave 2 (FL, CA, AZ, TX, or F-CAT along with 19 tag along states). And this means COVID-19 is finding its way into areas of the US which are "caught off guard."

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So, part of the key over the next few weeks is for policymakers and citizens in these 20-ish states to "panic enough" to reduce the spread. There must be some of this taking place already, as daily...

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