If the markets were looking for a bullish signal, they might have gotten one of the more clear ones yet.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the world's leading infectious disease specialists who has also taken one of the most cautious tones as it has related to the COVID-19 outbreak, has spoken out in favor of reopening the economy again.
“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on “Halftime Report.”
Fauci has always taken a rather tentative stance regarding reopening suggesting often that doing so too soon could trigger a second outbreak later in the year.
But it appears he also realizes that it is a balancing act.
“But now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”
He went on to say that stay-at-home guidelines could cause "irreparable damage" to the economy if they stay in place for too long.
Judging by protests happening across the country, many people have had enough of staying home. Many states have or plan on reopening portions of their economies, albeit at limited capacity or operation. Those states are showing mixed results as far as being able to limit any new spread of the disease, but the number of daily new cases nationwide has been very slowly trending downward over the past few weeks.
The equity markets have become incredibly bullish on the notion of a more fully operational economy. Continuing the strong rebound from late last week, U.S. stocks have delivered big gains with small-caps leading the way.
The 8% gains from small companies further cement the notion that investors are getting more comfortable with risk. For a while, we've seen large-caps mostly leading on the way up. If we can get some leadership from small-caps, the bull recovery has the legs to run.
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