by Rick Ackerman
Now that we are hearing stories about the viral threat of superspreaders, of deepening economic paralysis around the world, and how it could take 18 months to produce a vaccine, investors’ show of bravado in recent weeks seems to have melted away. Shares got hit across-the-board on Thursday and Friday, and if investors know what’s good for them they’ll pound the bejeezus out of them this week. Although it’s difficult to estimate how much selling will be necessary to discount some worst-case possibilities, including a sharp global downturn, it was at least a step in the right direction for traders to belatedly acknowledge with the hesitant, two-day selloff that they simply don’t know how things will play out. It is frequently said of investors that they fear uncertainty more than anything else, and so the weakness that ended the week would have been a comfort to those who have wondered when even a faint sign of rationality would emerge on Wall Street.