Thoughts on Thursday's Market Movement

We wanted to share some thoughts on the myriad of news reports floating around and on yesterday's stock market movement.

Thursday's stock market movement has many asking, “What made the market drop so much?,” and perhaps more importantly, “Will this look like March all over again?” For the first question, the short answer is that investors appear to have focused on negative (and incomplete) news. For the second question, we believe the answer is NO, and we will provide a basis for that belief below.

Here are a few examples of focusing on negative (and incomplete) news stories:

  1. One of the most highly read headlines in American news yesterday was, “Fears of second U.S. coronavirus wave rise on worrisome spike in cases, hospitalizations.”
  2. Another headline yesterday read, “Arizona sees alarming surge of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases daily”.
  3. Four days ago, we saw a headline that said, “Code Red? Arizona hospitals could run out of beds by July.”

These headlines will clearly cause many of us to question the reopening of the country. Readers of these headlines may be motivated to think that if it is this bad in Arizona, then perhaps we should all stay locked in for longer. Because of this, Arizona and its decision to reopen has been a subject of debate in discussions on the re-opening of the country. Arizona is being used as a model for other states because they began removing restrictions three weeks ago. Since they reopened, they have seen an increase in new cases of Covid-19.

And while we understand and appreciate the debate, these headlines only tell part of the story. We believe the other part of the story they exclude is also important. Because of this, we want to share the "other" side of the news. Here are some facts that have been buried by the negative headlines:

  1. Despite the rise in hospitalizations, the ICU bed capacity utilization in AZ has only risen from 77% to 78%
  2. The MAJORITY of ICU beds in Arizona are occupied by non-Covid-19 patients
  3. The Arizona department of health has reported that there are “surge beds” available to handle increased demand. Surge beds are beds that are available, but not yet “ready” to be used
  4. The expectation from the AZ Department of Health is that if you need a hospital bed in AZ, there WILL BE ONE AVAILABLE
  5. The US economy is healing much faster than anyone expected, justifying recent optimism in the stock market and showing the benefits of easing lockdowns around the country
  6. Non-farm payrolls rose 2.5 million in May, easily beating the consensus expected decline of 7.5 million.
  7. The private sector did even better, adding 3.1 million jobs
  8. Civilian employment, an alternative measure of jobs that includes small-business start-ups, rose 3.8 million
  9. The Treasury plans to keep short-term interest rates low until at least 2023
  10. The Fed's economic projections show a deep recession followed by above-trend growth thereafter as the economy heals, with no permanent damage to GDP
  11. A report from the department of labor is expected to show a 0.6% increase in May (vs. its 2.6% decline in April)
  12. Export prices are also expected to climb by 0.6%
  13. It is expected that the consumer sentiment survey is likely to increase to 75.0 in May. It came in at 72.3 in April
  14. Despite the much-reported suspension of dividends in 41 of the S&P 500’s companies, Bloomberg reported that the total dividend for the S&P 50 will total an estimate of $59.08 per share, up from $58.69 per share in 2019. The estimate for 2021 is $61.83

The use of incomplete (even if true) headlines can manipulate public perception. To illustrate this, reporters could just as easily have written the following headlines, all of which are also TRUE:

  1. Three weeks after reopening, Covid-19 death rate falls!
  2. Three weeks after opening, Arizona Depart of Health reports only 1% increase in ICU bed utilizations
  3. Three weeks after opening, AZ reports majority of ICU beds occupied by non-Covid-19 patients
  4. Unemployment falls in AZ as economy reopens and death rate from Covid-19 falls

We do not contest the truth of the media's chosen headlines, but rather the truthfulness of the message they seek to promote. They do not accurately illustrate the whole story, just as the "positive" headlines above do not tell the whole story despite their being true.

We can only conclude that the media's choice of headlines have the goal of sensationalizing and dramatizing the news. They suggest the reopening of the economy is in peril, and that the U.S. may very soon be subject to new lockdown measures, whereas a full view of the facts might suggest that AZ has so far been successful in its reopening. This would of course suggest that the rest of the country may also be able to successfully remove stay at home orders. A full and accurate reporting of ALL the facts may indeed give Americans a reason to be "cautiously optimistic."

Some are likely still disinclined to believe there is reason to be hopeful. They may point to news articles reporting that AZ has put into action its emergency plans to handle the increase in Covid-19 cases. These reports are accurate, but that does not mean we have reason to despair. Rather, it should give us confidence that our healthcare system did what it told us it would do. If we recall WHY stay-at-home orders were instituted, it was to allow our health care system time to prepare for Covid-19. It was NEVER expected to cure or stop the spread of Covid-19.

When we combine all the data, we see a story where lockdowns were initiated, the spread of the virus was slowed, medical professionals learned a great deal more about the virus, which allowed them to identify some viable treatment options (as well as rule out others) for patients with severe health issues due to Covid-19, and allowed them to prepare to treat many more patients who would become infected with Covid-19. It also allowed each of us to learn more about the virus and decide what course of action is most appropriate for ourselves.

Many of us may have underlying health conditions that increase our risk of serious illness or death due to Covid-19. Others may have less health issues and feel that returning to work or schools is worth the risk. Business and schools across the country have taken the time to improve cleaning procedures, create more distance between people, and provide more options to work or study remotely. They have worked diligently to balance the protection of our health and our economic well being.

Interestingly, if we look beyond the sensationalized news stories, the combination of all these efforts and our own personal decisions seem to point to a path forward. It appears Arizona may have been able to balance public health and economic health. They have allowed businesses to reopen, and they have brought down the death rate for Covid-19. This does not mean we no longer need to be vigilant, but it does mean we may have a path forward. We believe its likely that many of the new cases may not be as severe because those with underlying health conditions are probably still socially distancing themselves from others. We have heard Governors across the country speak of the balancing act between public health and economic health. Perhaps the data in AZ demonstrates that we as a nation can indeed balance these to demands.

We are not doctors or medical professionals, so we do not proclaim to have the all answers. However, as we discussed above, we believe it is important to have all the facts. That said, we acknowledge only time will tell how this all plays out. But a deeper, more complete look at the facts may be of more benefit than sensationalized media headlines.

We understand the reopening of the economy is controversial, but we also know the damage that closing it has caused (and will continue to cause). Our leaders promised to let the data guide them. We hope they stick to this promise. Evidence from places like AZ shows that it may indeed be possible to reopen the economy and have a decline in the death rate from Covid-19.


Fortem Financial
(760) 206-8500


Brian Amidei, along with Partners Joseph Romano and Brett D'Orlando have also been named *2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Five Star Wealth Managers!

Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client’s experience or of the Firm’s future performance. Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

Five Star Professional Disclosure:
The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided. Additional information about this award is available at:
Fortem Financial 2016. All rights reserved.

Data Sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market Data: Based on reported data in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury Yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/ Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness.

Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of Fortem Financial, LLC or any of its affiliates. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. Forward looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, the economy, and future conditions. As such, forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainty, risks, and changes in circumstance that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated outcomes. Carefully consider investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing. Fortem Financial is a registered investment adviser with the SEC. Advisory services are offered through Fortem Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighed index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Fortem Financial


Fortem Financial Group, LLC, has adopted this policy with recognition that protecting the privacy and security of the non-public personal information we obtain about our customers is an important responsibility.

All financial companies choose how they share your non-public personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your non-public personal information. Even when you are no longer our customer, we will only share your non-public personal information as described in this notice. So, please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

The types of non-public personal information we collect and share depend on the product or service you have with us. This information can include items such as your Social Security number and income, your account balances and transaction history, and your investment experience and account transactions.

We collect your non-public personal information in a variety of ways. For example, we obtain your non-public personal information when you open an account or give us your income information, tell us about your portfolio or deposit money, or enter into an investment advisory contract. We also collect your non-public personal information from other companies. For example, from the custodians who hold your account assets.

All financial companies need to share customer’s non-public personal information to run their everyday business. Below, we describe the reasons we can share your non-public personal information and whether you can limit this sharing.

We share your non-public personal information for our everyday business purposes such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, report to credit bureaus, to protect the confidentiality or security of your records, or as permitted by law. We may also share your non-public personal information for our own firm’s marketing purposes; so that we can offer our products and services to you.

Federal law gives you the right to limit only sharing non-public personal information about your credit worthiness for our affiliates’ everyday business purposes; sharing non-public personal information about you with our affiliates to market to you; and sharing non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you.

We don’t share non-public personal information about your creditworthiness with our affiliates for their everyday business purposes. We don’t share your non-public personal information with our affiliates to market to you. We don’t share your non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you. We also don’t share your non-public personal information for joint marketing with other financial companies. State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing.

We share non-public personal information with our parent company affiliate, Focus Financial Partners, Inc, for its internal and external auditing purposes. We also share your non-public personal information with a non-affiliate for the purpose of aggregating it and providing summary information based on this data to our parent company, Focus Financial Partners, Inc.

To protect your non-public personal information from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with federal law. These measures include computer safeguards and secured files and buildings.

Our policy about obtaining and disclosing non-public personal information may change from time to time. We will provide you notice of any material change to this policy before we implement the change.

If you have questions please call us at 760-206-8500 or go to our website at


Fortem Financial Group, LLC ("Fortem Financial" or the "Firm") is a federally registered investment adviser with offices in California. Fortem Financial and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon federally registered investment advisers by those states in which Fortem Financial maintains clients. Fortem Financial may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements.

This website is limited to the dissemination of general information regarding the Firm's investment advisory services offered to U.S. residents residing in states where providing such information is not prohibited by applicable law. Accordingly, the publication of Fortem Financial' website on the Internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as a solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Furthermore, the information resulting from the use of any tools or other information on this website should not be construed, in any manner whatsoever, as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized individual advice from Fortem Financial. Any subsequent direct communication from Fortem Financial with a prospective client will be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. Fortem Financial does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to this website or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

All statements and opinions included on this website are subject to change as economic and market conditions dictate, and do not necessarily represent the views of Fortem Financial or any of their respective affiliates. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and there can be no assurance that any views, outlooks, projections or forward-looking statements will come to pass. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and the profitability of any particular investment strategy or product cannot be guaranteed.

Any rating referenced herein may not be representative of any one client's experience. Further, the Firm's receipt of any rating is not indicative of the Firm's future performance. The Charles E. Merrill Circle of Excellence award is granted by Merrill Lynch for outstanding client service and satisfaction. The award is granted based on annual criteria established by Merrill Lynch for its top decile advisors. The Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors rating of the top financial advisors in the United States is based on data provided by participating firms. The following factors are included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance is not an explicit component. The Five Star Professional award is granted by Five Star Professional and recognizes service professionals who provide quality services to their clients based on data provided by participating firms. The award is granted based on the following ten objective eligibility and evaluation criteria: credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; favorable regulatory and complaint history review; fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; accepting new clients; one-year client retention rate; five-year client retention rate; non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; number of client households served; and educational and professional designations. Feedback from consumer surveys will augment a regulatory history review. Firms have the option to provide input on award candidates from their firm, regardless of the nomination source. The Palm Springs Life's "40 Under 40" Rising Young Professionals to Watch in the Coachella Valley is based upon nominations from the local business community and selected by the staff of Palm Springs Life.

For information pertaining to the registration status of Fortem Financial, please refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website, operated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, at, which contains the most recent versions of the Firm's Form ADV disclosure documents.