That's the all-time high on the S&P 500 – a level we hit just before Thanksgiving and, this morning, we're back to the 4,700 line – as if the two weeks after Thanksgiving never happened. And maybe nothing did – if you narrowly focus on the virus as the Omicron variant of Covid is what started the drop and now we've all decided it's not a big deal so back to "normal" in the market, which is pretty much up around 4,700 on the S&P.
Remember when Covid first hit and it was Christmas time and the Government and the media tried to assure us it was no worse than the flu? Anything to keep the stores open for the holidays or the Government will have to spend another few Trillion on bailouts next year. What's worse, another 100,000 dead citizens or spending $20M to prevent each death? You KNOW our Government doesn't value our lives that highly – insurance companies certainly don't – barely $1M in a wrongful death settlement on average.
So the Government is not going to spend 20 times the value of a citizen's life to prevent ther death – nor should they from a logical point of view. While Republicans are all about doing whatever it takes to defend your life before you are born (unless you or your mother need medical care or food or shelter, of course) – after you are born they could care less what happens to you.
Pfizer (PFE) this morning is using Omicron to promote getting more vaccines, saying that their two-dose regimen was significantly less effective at blocking the variant than three doses are. That should hold their stock up for another couple of quarters along with their partner, BioNTech (BNTX) – both of which we have long positions in.
Singapore just passed a law that makes unvaccinated people pay for their own treatment if they contract Covid as those people are putting a disproportionate strain on their National (Free) Health Care System (all the civilized countries have it – except the US). Singapore is one of many countries that have adopted measures to convince vaccine holdouts. Some European governments are tightening restrictions on the unvaccinated for restaurants and offices. Starting in February, Austria will require all adults to get vaccinated. In Vienna, those who fail to show up for vaccine appointments could face fines of up to $4,050. Greece has made Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for those over 60 and will start issuing fines in mid-January to those who haven’t received a first dose or made appointments to get their first shot. In Germany, politicians are debating similar policies.
Singapore, however, has already achieved one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, with 96% of its eligible population – which excludes categories such as young children – fully vaccinated, according to the government. It has achieved this in part by restricting activities that the unvaccinated may partake in: They can’t dine in at Singapore’s food courts or enter shopping malls. Singapore has 5.7M people and 269,873 (4.7%) cases of Covid and 763 (0.0013%) deaths.
An encouraging note is that, globally, we have administered 1.18 Billion does of vaccine in the past month – so we are certainly capable of vaccinating everybody on the planet – we just need the will to do it. The US will pass 50M (15.6%) total infections next week and 800,000 (0.25%) deaths – 200 TIMES the rate Singapore has. As I said, the US Government is not going to waste their time or effort stopping you from dying – not if it might hurt the bottom line…
200 times 4,000 is 800,000 so 796,000 extra deaths x $1M = $796Bn worth of wrongful deaths but it cost us $4Tn to shut down the economy so – sorry! Think about it this way, if you live in an apartment building with 400 people – you only have to pick one of them to die and the rest of you can go about your daily lives without masks or restrictions (I'd still get vaccinated, as there's no sense in being an idiot, is there?). This might sound harsh to you but it's the decision almost every community in America has already made. Think about who you will choose to kill today for your comfort – it's a fun exercise!
Since it's now been decided we find killing one in 400 people to avoid being annoyed by restrictions acceptable, we should probably be on the lookout for other ways to improve our lives like people who eat too much at the buffet or people who have yappy dogs (don't want to kill the dogs, people get upset about that). People who can't decide what to order at the deli counter, people who can't seem to just move forward at the grocery store… (yes, I live in Florida) Shakespeare wisely said "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" and there's 1.3M of them in the US – that would fill an 18-month quota right there!
Moving on to other ways the World is going to end: Russia is going to invade the Ukraine (again), China is taking over Taiwan, another Chinese developer is on the ropes (Aoyuan), Japan's GDP shrank 3.6% in Q3 and 63% of the people in this country think it's heading in the wrong direction and only 27% think it's going the right way (10% undecided) and 61% said specifically the Economy was headed in the wrong direction.
That is why we are STILL shorting the S&P 500 (/ES) Futures at the 4,700 line – with tight stops above and we're also shorting Oil (/CL) at $72.50 – also with tight stops over that line. Oil inventories are out at 10:30 this morning and we usually don't like to play into inventories but Oil is up 10% ($7.50) in the past week for not good reason so we expect at least a $1.50 rejection at $72.50, back to $71 and that would be good for gains of $1,500 per contract!
We went long on Natural Gas (/NG) yesterday at $3.80 and we got another chance to enter early this morning but we have to be careful with those as they may get dragged down with Oil if there's a bigger than expected build (indicating lower demand).