The Stock Market Has a Fatal Neurological Disease

by Rick Ackerman

It feels odd to be characterizing Friday’s 2000-point rally in the Dow Industrials as “just noise,” but that’s what it was. It’s a safe bet that almost none of the buying was driven by optimism about how pandemic news would play out over the weekend. Who could predict such a thing? Uncertainty reins, and the only thing that seems certain at this point is that the normal flow of life and business in the U.S. and around the world will face more disruptions than anyone could have imagined even a week ago.

We look to the news media to make sense of it all, but those who write about such world-shaking events as have occurred recently often seem as confused as the rest of us. On Friday afternoon, for instance, when the Dow Average closed with its biggest gain ever, most of it achieved in less than an hour, the Wall Street Journal headlined its digital front page with this unintentionally wacky mash-up:

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