Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett told shareholders Saturday that the company sold 16 times more in stocks than it purchased during April, including dumping $6 billion in airline stock — the company's entire equity position in U.S. airlines.

Why it matters: Long an advocate for buy-and-hold investing and being opportunistic during downturns, Buffett's actions are in stark contrast to the general mood of the market, which has seen stocks rally by around 30% since March 23.

Between the lines: Buffett remained positive on the overall growth and trajectory of the U.S. as a whole but cautioned that the timeframe for his bet on an American comeback was decades, not months or even years, N.Y. Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin writes.

  • “You can bet on America, but you kind of have to be careful about how you bet,” Buffett said Saturday.
  • “Simply because markets can do anything.”

What's happening: Buffett said he hadn’t made any purchases recently and couldn't even recall the paltry new pickups Berkshire had made, suggesting they were picks made by Berkshire investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

The bottom line: As Sorkin notes, that's a far cry from his outlook during the 2008 financial crisis when he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times a month after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy: “In the near term, unemployment will rise, business activity will falter and headlines will continue to be scary. So … I’ve been buying American stocks.”

  • “Our position will be to stay a Fort Knox,” he said Saturday.
  • “We have not done anything, because we don’t see anything that attractive to do.”

Go deeper

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."

Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

PM prepares for "COVID election" as NZ marks 100 days of no community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S.