Here’s some information I’ve gathered over the past few.
So the CDC just announced TODAY that they’re loosening the criteria for patients to be eligible to get a COVID-19 test. Up until now, the only time that patients were even tested for the virus is if they’re in a HOSPITAL with a FEVER.. that means you could be walking into the doctor with a cough, runny nose, and sore throat, and they wouldn’t even bust out the test kits. Let that sink in. This explains why the death rate for corona cases in USA is way higher than the average for other developed countries (~7% vs ~2%). the US was only testing severe cases, which supports the story a supposed patient posted in the /r/coronavirus sub a few days ago, claiming they were sent home untested despite showing symptoms.
The US saw the first community transmission case a WEEK ago – since then we’ve had potentially contagious people being sent home untested. The old testing criteria probably damaged containment efforts, and the new testing criteria is going to cause an enormous spike in reported cases, guaranteed. We all saw how markets reacted when Italy reported a sudden spike in cases on Feb 22..
Still not convinced this is a problem? This virus is more contagious, and more deadly than seasonal flu’s. Here’s how the COVID-19 outbreak compares to similar epidemics in recent history. SARS, 2003 and MERS, 2012, the biologically most closely related viruses were not nearly as contagious and had almost no cases in the USA. We saw no disruption in daily lives. Now consider the H1N1 swine flu epidemic of 2009. Over 43,000 confirmed cases and over 1,200 deaths in the USA. Much more contagious/widespread than SARS/MERS with a similar death rate. Yet none of the above viruses had any negative impact on the markets. Basically, the flu is also less contagious than COVID-19. The average person with flu infects 1.3 other people, while beer virus infects 2.2. This is because a lot of people already have a naturally built up immunity to a lot of strains of the flu, while no one is immune to corona.
Combine this with the fact that there is no vaccine in sight for the next year, you’re gonna see some shit. During a calm year, the flu has some 10 million cases in the USA. If corona reaches even this level, we’ll see deaths in the six figures. Hence the (failing) scramble to contain. Some people are speculating that the virus will go away with warmer weather, but both SARS and MERS flourished in the summer months, so good luck.
And unlike the first death over the weekend, or the rate cut, a sudden spike in cases is not priced in. People were expecting a red Monday just because someone died over the weekend? The US had more than 60 cases at that point. With a death rate of some 2.5%, a death was highly probably. After today’s rally the S&P 500 is less than 9% below its all-time-high. Plus, if technicals are any indication, this back and fourth volatility is all the more reason to suspect we haven’t hit the bottom.
TLDR; Hope you’re using these green days to buy cheap puts. Give it a few weeks before panic sets in.
SPY 280 P 04/17 + VIX 40 C 04/17 = Ctrl + P
Disclaimer: This information is only for educational purposes. Do not make any investment decisions based on the information in this article. Do you own due diligence.