As the numbers of new COVID-19 cases and deaths hit new highs, a potential game-changing development could be even more important than government approval of the vaccine.
With COVID-19 deaths hitting new daily records, there is a heightened level of fear over the trend. There is also concern the rise in new cases and deaths will slow the economic recovery.
Despite complaints I’ve received about passing along information on COVID-19 treatments without a medical degree, I will continue to inform you about what I believe to be credible information. You should be able to evaluate and decide for yourself whether such information is useful to you, your family, and your friends.
Three days ago, Dr. Pierre Kory, head of an international association of doctors specializing in treating COVID-19 patients, testified before Congress. His group of doctors says they now have a protocol that provides the most effective means of both preventing and treating COVID-19. Dr. Kory says no one has to be infected by COVID-19 any longer, much less die of the disease.
The video of his emotional testimony is here. The protocol uses Ivermectin Oral, a widely used medicine for treating parasites. Dr. Kory’s group says it is safe and inexpensive. The guide to his group and their protocol can be found here.
The Week That Was
Weekly initial unemployment claims increased to 853,000 in the first week of December. The four-week average increased to 776,000, up from 746,000 in November.
The number of workers receiving unemployment insurance payments increased by 300,000 last week, to 5.8 million, but remains down from seven million a month ago. The insured unemployment rate was 3.9 million, down from 5.0 million a month ago.
Inflation data are still distorted by the volatile shift from lockdown to recovery. In the six months ending in November, consumer prices were up at roughly a high 3½ percent annual rate. However, year-over-year consumer inflation remains a modest 1½ percent.
In election news, recounts of votes in highly Republican precincts in western Michigan show machine votes were accurate. The machines did their job. They did not shift votes from Trump to Biden.
What to Expect Next Week
On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) report on manufacturing in November should be a good one. I estimate production will be up by 1 percent to 2 percent. My estimate is based on business surveys showing a sharp rise in manufacturing activity last month. For October, the Fed’s manufacturing report shows production at 95 percent of its prior peak. For November, manufacturing should be at 96 percent to 97 percent of its peak.
On Wednesday, the Homebuilders Index will continue to show housing activity is booming. Later in the day the Fed will reaffirm its intention to keep its money machine running overtime.
The bull market in stocks continues. All five of the indexes are now at or within 1 percent of their all-time highs. Small cap ETFs (!WM, IJR) were up by close to 4 percent, the QQQs were up 3 percent, and the Nasdaq, S&P500, and Dow were flat to only slightly higher.
The news for the week was mostly positive. Although most analysts are focusing on the FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s vaccine, the Ivermectin Oral protocol mentioned above may prove even more important in knocking back the disease and getting the economy back to full speed.
The S&P500 remains overvalued by 10 percent, and most psychological indicators point to excessive bullishness. It would not be unusual for stocks to pull back from their current levels.
Even so, technical indicators remain positive. In addition, the tailwind from the Fed buying close to $100 billion a month suggests the bull market can continue.
Forces Affecting the Near-Term Outlook
Economic fundamentals: positive
Stock valuation: S&P500 over-valued by 10 percent
Monetary policy: highly expansive