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Despite some tentative, decidedly mixed moves to "reopen" in some parts of the country, anonymous cell phone location data shared with USA Today reveals the vast majority of Americans are still spending more than 80% of their time inside their homes. Different data shared by the states shows that COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations have kind of plateaued nationwide but are still growing in some places.
The economic picture is much worse – week after week of jaw-dropping first-time claims numbers. Around 20.5 million jobs vanished in April, putting unemployment at 14.7%. That's its highest level since 1939 and the Great Depression; the broader "U6" number is 22.8%. GDP has shrunk 4.7% on a quarterly annualized basis.
Look – I don't mean to belabor the point or scare or depress anyone; I'm looking forward just as much as anyone to the day this pandemic and recession show up in the rearview mirror.
I only mention the negatives here because they stand in such stark contrast to the markets. Stocks are starting to give back just a little of their gains as I write this, so let's get to the bottom of what's going on – quickly…
About the Author
Chris Johnson is a highly regarded equity and options analyst who has spent much of his nearly 30-year market career designing and interpreting complex models to help investment firms transform millions of data points into impressive gains for clients.
At heart Chris is a quant - like the "rocket scientists" of investing - with a specialty in applying advanced mathematics like stochastic calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and statistics to Wall Street's data-rich environment.
He began building his proprietary models in 1998, analyzing about 2,000 records per day. Today, that database, which Chris designed and coded from scratch, analyzes a staggering 700,000 records per day. It's the secret behind his track record.
Chris holds degrees in finance, statistics, and accounting. He worked as a licensed broker for 11 years before taking on the role of Director of Quantitative Analysis at a big-name equity and options research firm for eight years. He recently served as Director of Research of a Cleveland-based investment firm responsible for hundreds of millions in AUM. He is also the Founder/CIO of ETF Advisory Research Partners since 2007, noted for its groundbreaking work in Behavioral Valuation systems. Their research is widely read by leaders in the RIA business.
Chris is ranked in the top 99.3% of financial bloggers and top 98.6% of overall experts by TipRanks, the track record registry of financial analysts dating back to January 2009.
He is a frequent commentator on financial markets for CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg TV, and CBS Radio and has been featured in Barron's, USA Today, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal, and numerous books.
Today, Chris is the editor of Night Trader and Strikepoint Trader and contributes to Money Morning as the Quant Analysis Specialist.