Market Insights / 03.10.2020

Health Crisis: Coronavirus is now a Pandemic

Health Crisis: Coronavirus is now a Pandemic - Image

Health Crisis: Coronavirus is now a Pandemic

The U.S. is now starting to confront a serious health crisis: coronavirus. China has been fighting this since December and appears to be bringing it under control. There are fewer reports of new coronavirus cases and deaths there. They fought this by shutting down large portions of the country with draconian measures. Many cities were quarantined and transportation was shut down. The U.S. is just starting to fight the virus and has many issues to address, but the health issues come first.


Secondarily, we have a confidence crisis. When people are faced with the unknown, they react with fear, emotions, anxiety, and denial. Schools and workplaces are closing events are canceled, and many people have changed or cancelled their travel plans. As more news comes out, the public will become more cautious; cautious people rightfully protect themselves. Even though about 30,000 people in the U.S. die from the flu every year, coronavirus is different because it spreads faster and it’s so new we don’t understand a lot about it. Eventually, we will learn more and find ways to treat it. The question is, how long will this take? For now, we can pray for the best and take necessary precautions.


The recent economic data continues to look good. Nondefense capital goods new orders excluding aircraft, which is a proxy for capital spending, were up 1.1% in January. February information for employment, consumer confidence, National Federation of Independent Business [NFIB] confidence, ISM manufacturing, and construction were all positive. Car sales were lower. In China, the Caixin and PMI dropped over 20% due to the coronavirus. European manufacturing was at a 1-year high and just under 50, which is still in contraction. Oil, which collapsed due to OPEC’s breakdown, has dropped 50% from the start of the year. This could be viewed as positive for the world economy. The Federal Reserve cut the prime interest rates by 50 basis points and the forecast is for the number to go to zero, which is not a positive sign.


The Shapiro Nonferrous Volume Index measures the metal received from our Top 50 manufacturers.  Both our February year-over-year and our February month-over-month were down 2%. Aerospace, trailers, trucks, and HVAC are among the manufacturers trending down. The ones trending up were automotive suppliers and ship and boat builders.


Metal prices for March have been relatively stable. All of the prime aluminum prices are about the same. Aerospace turnings are up 3 cents per pound this month due to both a drop in volume and some increased orders for exported scrap. Copper was up slightly, and nickel was a little softer. Stainless steel prices were also about the same as last month, and steel prices were up $10 a ton.  The demand for metals this month is good. So far this year metal prices have not been volatile, which is a very good sign considering what has happened in China. China’s economy is in a recovery period now. Their supply chain is coming back, which is very helpful for the world’s economy and for metals.


Our economy has been strong for 11 years and we have financial tools to help. The key issue is our health. We need to have more knowledge about this how this disease works and how we respond to it. When you and I believe the virus is under control and we are not going to die from it, the world will return to normal. Until that happens, life will be volatile.


Don’t panic. Do prepare.


“Don’t make any predictions, especially about the future.”   -Samuel Goldwyn


Work SAFE. Work smart. Profits will happen.


I am attaching “COVID-19 medical advice from a member of the Stanford hospital board”   



-COVID-19 medical advice from a member of the Stanford hospital board-


  1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold.
  2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
  3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 27 degrees. It hates the Sun.
  4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about10 feetbefore it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  5. If it drops on a metal surface it will remain contagiousfor at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with an anti-bacterial soap.
  6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  7. Drinking warm wateris effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
  8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
  9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
  10. Can’t emphasize enough – drink plenty of water [all day long!].


  1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3 ~ 4 days
  2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5 ~ 6 days further.
  3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing*.
  4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

*By the time a person has fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it’s too late (Fibrosis is not reversible).

Serious advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases:

Everyone should ensure their mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least.

Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus.

If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs. That’s very dangerous.

Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning:

Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicating no infection. In these critical times, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.