March 1, 2020

Friday saw another big headline-grabbing drop in the market on coronvirus fears.

The DOW was down over 1000 points during the day but recovered for a decline of 357 points or 1.4% at the close. The S&P 500 was down 0.8% and Toronto was down 2.7%.

Among the decliners were   Canadian Western Bank Рdown 5.2%, Canadian Tire Рdown 3.3%, Couche-Tard Рdown 3.2%. Boston Pizza Royalty units down 4.0%. Costco Рdown 4.1% and too many others to list.

Some stocks managed a gain including FedEx – up 1.7%. Dollarama – up 1.6% and Visa – up 1.0%.

The World Health Organization produces a daily situation report. It shows the virus slowing in China but spreading in other places with 53 countries outside of China reporting a total of 6009 cases and 86 deaths. This was as of Saturday.

It’s obviously unknown how this will play out and how it will affect the markets. Currently it looks like the selling pressure will continue and that investors are in for a rough ride. It now seems surprising that the market ignored the virus as long as it did.

I am in Hawaii this week and traveled through Vancouver Airport on Friday. At that point there was no indication of much fear on the part of travelers. I saw about 3 people wearing masks out of many hundreds or a few thousand people that I walked by. A few people were wiped down their seat and tray areas on the plane. But that was it. So far U.S. tourism appears to be unaffected.

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