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🎙“I know what I’ve done for music, but don’t call me a legend. … A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I’m still doing it.” - See who said it and why it matters at the bottom.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
As traders around the globe have frantically unloaded positions in recent weeks, so-called mom and pop retail investors have kept level heads and not sold out of stocks.
Quick take: Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab, points out that through the end of last week, passive equity ETFs had seen a net $20 billion in inflows.
What's happening: The contrast between professional and amateur investors could not be more stark. As the pros sold out of risky assets like stocks and oil and even safe havens like gold and Treasury bonds, amateur traders were "maintaining a long-term perspective despite the market turmoil," Vanguard said.
Why it matters: Retail traders "buying the dips" is normally a contrarian signal, meaning that it's time to sell.
Watch this space: Thus far, "U.S. equities continue to run in lockstep with the day-to-day moves of late September/October 2008," DataTrek Research co-founder Nicholas Colas says in a note.
The bottom line: The key to finding a bottom is a peak in confirmed COVID-19 cases and the beginning of a recovery from the pandemic, Kleintop says.
New data from CivicScience show Americans remained calm about their retirement savings between late January and mid-March, despite significant losses in the stock market.
The intrigue: Bank of America Securities' Bull & Bear indicator has fallen to its lowest possible level, zero, indicating a strong buy signal. However, the last time the indicator fell to this level of "extreme bearishness" was in July 2008 ahead of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy four weeks later.
The last word: "The stock market is a leading indicator of business trends, and corporate activity continues to deteriorate with no signs yet of a bottom," Goldman analysts said in a recent note.
The U.S. will extend social-distancing guidelines for another 30 days through the end of April, President Trump said. (WSJ)
The DOJ has started to probe a series of stock sales made by lawmakers ahead of the market downturn that followed the spread of COVID-19 into the United States. (CNN)
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city has only one week's worth of medical supplies and the CDC urged New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents to avoid nonessential travel. (WSJ)
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are approaching 150,000, on pace to double the number of confirmed cases in China, as Anthony Fauci of the White House's coronavirus task force said the number of U.S. deaths could reach 200,000 with "millions of cases." (CNN)
As the popularity of passive investment vehicles has grown, money managers have consistently reduced their fees, particularly in stock funds and hybrid funds.
Driving the news: The cost of investing in equity and hybrid mutual funds through 401(k) plans fell again in 2018, a new report from the Investment Company Institute shows.
Between the lines: "Hybrid funds contain the bulk of 'alternative strategies' funds, which had a lot of demand between 2009 and 2013, and which generally have higher expense ratios," ICI associate economist James Duvall tells Axios in an email.
Cloud of locusts flying in Mwingi North, Kenya, in February. Photo: Fred Mutune/Xinhua via Getty Images
Traveling locust swarms in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, that had reached the size of Manhattan in some places, are still growing in East Africa, and the problem is now compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
Driving the news: New cases of COVID-19 have been discovered in much of the region this month, and the pandemic also is slowing the delivery of pesticides that can kill the insects.
The organization added: "Along with climate shocks, conflict and acute food insecurity, the East Africa region now faces a hunger threat from Desert Locust. This is a scourge of biblical proportions."
State of play: The locusts could multiply by 400 times this year, as swarms are maturing and will be ready to lay eggs beginning in early April.
The big picture: East Africa was the standout performer for economic growth in the African subcontinent prior to the locust outbreak, and with more cases mounting in Africa's two economic hubs, South Africa and Nigeria, the continent's growth could grind to a halt.
On the positive side: Government agencies say the locust situation is under control in Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Pakistan and India.
Quote: “I know what I’ve done for music, but don’t call me a legend. … A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I’m still doing it.”
Why it matters: On March 30, 1970, Miles Davis released the landmark jazz double album "Bitches Brew," one of the genre's greatest albums.
Years later, Davis said this about Steve Miller: