The S&P 500 continued its grind higher this week – we have continued to see market volatility trending lower as markets have digested much of the current economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, we came across some interesting data – Apple’s Mobility Trends Report, which is generated with data from their maps app. The following graph shows the change in routing requests for walking, driving, and mass transit since January 13th for Cleveland, Ohio:
Here is the report for New York City:
These graphs show walking and driving routing requests are almost back to January levels in Cleveland. In New York City, they are still well below January levels. In both cities, mass transit requests are both significantly lower than in January.
Obviously, there are many factors that influence these data points. For example, weather should have some affect on walking requests, and May weather should be much nicer than January. We don’t want to generate sweeping conclusions from these graphs. But, it does imply that New Yorkers are staying in quarantine to a greater degree than Clevelanders. And perhaps this makes sense – New York has much higher population density and has had many more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than Cleveland. If you want to look at data for other locations, click here.
Unfortunately, no data was available for Ashland, Ohio. For that, you may have to collect your own anecdotal information from the Walmart or Home Depot parking lots.
Why does this matter to you and your investments? It shows that the economic and social recovery may look different based on regional and local demographics. We are moving from a “one size fits all” approach to a more precise and nuanced approach. This will help the economy bounce back faster while still allowing us to maintain appropriate caution and limit the spread of the virus. It also reminds us that the stock market is looking toward current and future conditions, not what has already happened. Case in point, the worst jobs report data was released today showing the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, yet the broad markets were up over 1% as the news was released.
If you would like to discuss your personal situation with us – please let us know.