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Vaccine: Coincidence? You Tell Me...

Written by Briton Ryle
Posted November 9, 2020

I gotta start today's message with a disclaimer: I am not a conspiracy theorist. As much as I might be fascinated by the exotic, if I hear hoofbeats, I think horses, not zebras. 

Point being: You don’t have to go to extremes to find root causes. Most outcomes have a pretty simple explanation.

So this morning — two days after the election was called for Biden — I woke to find that Pfizer had announced a vaccine that it says is 90% effective against COVID-19 and Dow futures are up 1,500 points...

Coincidence? You tell me.

No doubt this turn of events will be fuel for Trump's stolen election fire. Love him or hate him, you gotta admit, the timing of this vaccine “news” checks a lot of boxes. 

I don’t think the final electoral vote tally is in yet, but I saw an estimate that gave Biden a likely 306 electoral votes — the same number with which Trump “stole” the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. 

At the time, that was pretty shocking. Exactly zero polls gave Trump a snowball’s chance of winning. And yet, looking back, Clinton was a flawed candidate. America’s “screw this crap” mood was much closer to a boil than many realized. 

I’m personally glad that Americans will still vote revolutionary every once in a while. OK so we’re not France; we’re not walking around with axes attacking speeding cameras (though God knows I wish I were so bold). Still, it’s good to know we will mutter our displeasure under our breaths for only so long. Eventually, we’re gonna walk up to the boss and say, “Take this job and shove it. I ain’t working here no more.” 

Can’t Fight City Hall

They say the most important factor in getting promotions and advancing in your career is how well you get along. In other words, if people wanna work with you, you’ll do well. If people don’t want to work with you, well, good luck.

As an aside, this is why diversity is important. I learned in the grade school cafeteria that you tend to sit with people who look like you and have similar backgrounds and experiences. I learned in high school that the more you learn about “others” the more you find that you have a lot in common.

Moving on...

I’ve written before about the increasingly active role that corporate America has taken on social issues. The bottom line for companies is that brand identity is a thing. You buy Duke’s Mayonnaise (cuz it’s clearly the superior product) and probably end up buying a few hundred gallons over the course of your life. (Ooof, I suddenly don’t feel so good.)

Duke’s is gonna charge you a little more each year, maybe introduce a BBQ sauce it thinks you’ll like, and the world doesn’t spin off its axis. 

Money talks and companies know who their customers are. Politicians just have to satisfy their base and, come to think of it, they rarely even manage to do that... at least not for any length of time. 

From that measure, we might say that Trump did as well as any president in recent memory. I didn’t vote for him, so I can’t say for sure, but I think much of the reason for his popularity is because a lot of Americans are ticked off. Trump was like a megaphone for people to say, “Take this job and shove it.”

I’m sure corporate America was fine with that... for a while. After all, Nike (NYSE: NKE) will put a polarizing figure like Colin Kaepernick on posters, and Starbucks kinda turns its head if junkies wanna shoot up in its bathrooms. 

But I guess if you throw enough tariffs around, tell companies how to act (which, by the way, is quasi-socialism), and potentially alienate potential customers in end markets around the world, well, maybe you hold back some information that might have been helpful if it came out a week ago.

Guess those tax cuts weren’t enough...

So What Now

My colleague, golf/ski buddy, and friend Christian DeHaemer sent me a piece from JPMorgan this morning about 25 stocks to sell for the post-COVID economy. For the record, I checked for the disclaimer that Jamie Dimon had no idea a vaccine was being announced and that the timing of JPMorgan’s opinion was purely coincidental, but I couldn’t find it. 

Please note that Jamie Dimon was never in Trump’s corner but also that “break up the banks” Elizabeth Warren faction of the Democratic party will likely be left out in favor of gridlock.

Rather than tell you what Wall Street thinks, here’s what Jason Williams and I are doing in The Wealth Advisory...

We are going to take our profits on Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC). We recommended it 18 months ago, and even with today’s drop, we’ve got 207% gains on the stock. 

And while we still love the opportunity for Teladoc, it's trading for 18 times revenue. In other words, it has at least three years of growth priced in. A lot can happen in three years...

On the other side of the COVID stock ledger, we recommended Chewy (NYSE: CHWY) a little over a year ago. I’ve written about Chewy here in Wealth Daily before. We’ve got 140% gains, but we are not taking them. In fact, we think our subscribers should add to Chewy if it gets down in the mid-$50s (because just adding market share as more people buy online gives the company upside).

Yeah, it’s not much. And I would advise you to not take any dramatic buying or selling action at this time, too.

Until next time,

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Briton Ryle

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A 21-year veteran of the newsletter business, Briton Ryle is the editor of The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter, with a focus on top-quality dividend growth stocks and REITs. Briton also manages the Real Income Trader advisory service, where his readers take regular cash payouts using a low-risk covered call option strategy. He also contributes a weekly column to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Briton, click here.

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