In many ways, last week was one of the darkest stretches in American history.
The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States – now approaching 21,000 people – has soared as families continue to regroup in their homes for fear of the aftermath, while an unthinkable number of 6.6 millions of people have applied for unemployment in an economy grappling with devastating closure.
As you can see, CNBC’s Jim Cramer applauds the rally in the marketplace while the chyron highlights the grim reality of the job losses, which hit more than 16 million in three weeks.
One commentator captured much of the response on social media saying, “The Dow is not the economy. This is a giant government-sanctioned Ponzi scheme for the wealthy. “
Another noted that, according to Federal Reserve data, 84% of stocks held by American households are owned by the wealthiest 10% of Americans – mostly Wall Street vs Main Street.
There is a story to support the movement. In an analysis released Thursday, investor Ned Davis said the stock market does better than average when unemployment rises. Davis’ research shows that an unemployment rate above 6% is correlated with a stock market rise of 13.7% per year.
” How can this be? Davis wrote. “It defies logic. My explanation would be that this news is widely followed and that the market tends to look to the future. It is therefore probably included in the price. “
Of course, the Federal Reserve also has a lot to do with it.
“When you remove the risk of short-term bankruptcy from every public company, regardless of credit rating or short-term financial condition, asset prices should go up,” Nicholas Colas of DataTrek wrote in a note on Friday. . “The markets know that no matter how small the cash flow, a Fed backstop waits behind the scenes if necessary.”
Lily:16 million people have just been laid off, but US stocks have had their best week in 45 years