Charts That Caught Our Attention

Posted on May 1, 2020 by Gemmer Asset

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For this week’s post, we thought it would be worthwhile to go through a few charts and statistics that caught our attention over the past couple weeks. In an effort to keep it different, we’ll try to stick to main street trends as opposed to security specific data (“try” being the operative word here).


Airports Are Ghost Towns



I created the above chart from data provided by the Transportation Safety Administration. It shows the daily number of travelers going through TSA airport checkpoints. The grey line shows 2019 numbers, while the blue line is 2020. On April 29, 2020 there were 119,629 travelers. The same day in 2019 had over 2.25 million. While it’s no surprise airport travel has ground to a halt, seeing the actual data is pretty shocking.


Bankruptcies Picking Up



Through the end of April, bankruptcies for public and private companies with liabilities greater than $50 million are roughly half of what they were in 2019 and are on pace to top 2008 levels. This is certainly a lagging indicator, so the acceleration in filings during the second half of the year will be something to keep an eye on.


Given the collapse in the price of oil, the energy space will undoubtedly be contributing to these figures in a material way.


US Manufacturing is Struggling



Like many industries, manufacturing is struggling. The above chart shows the historical readings for the ISM’s Manufacturing Report on Business Production. It’s basically a monthly survey of manufacturing leaders across the major product sectors. Today’s release of 27.5 marks the lowest reading since they began the survey in 1948.


Care to guess the only two sectors that actually grew in April? “Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products” and “Paper Products.”


Retail Foot Traffic Has Vanished



This chart shows the year-over-year change in weekly foot traffic across a broad swath of North American retail stores. The idea that retail traffic has plummeted is pretty obvious, but down -98%?! Brutal. Put the above two charts together and the takeaway is that almost no one is going into a store, and if they are, they’re buying booze and toilet paper.


Treatments & Vaccines


How about some positive news? The Milken Institute keeps track of the all the treatments and vaccine candidates for COVID-19 – click here to check out the site, it’s pretty fascinating.



As of this writing, there are 182 different treatments under consideration and 99 vaccines in various stages of development. While the timeline is uncertain, these numbers provide a sense of hope that at some point we’ll have an effective way to treat this illness.


Does The NASDAQ Know We’re In A Pandemic?



While the S&P 500 and Dow are still showing double digit losses for the year, the NASDAQ is creeping towards positive territory! As of about 11pm today, it’s only 3.7% from being flat for the year. Given how volatile things are, that could happen in a day!


Rather Be Lucky Than Good?



I said I’d try to stay away from specific securities data, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one.


I’m sure most of us have been on at least one Zoom call over the past few months. The service has exploded in popularity since the virus lockdown took hold, but during the initial few weeks of the crisis there was some major confusion about which Zoom was the right one.


The above chart shows Zoom Technologies Inc. (ticker: ZOOM/ZTNO) peak at a nearly +1,890% year-to-date return (as of March 20th). A huge number, but maybe it’s justified given the increase in popularity? The problem is that it’s the wrong Zoom!! Zoom Video Communications Inc (ticker: ZM) is actually the company supplying the video conferencing service we’ve all come to know. The “correct” Zoom was only up +92% when Zoom Technologies hit its peak.


On March 26th, the SEC stepped in to halt trading in the “wrong” Zoom:



Since trading resumed in the stock, shares have plummeted resulting in Zoom Technologies being down -38% YTD through yesterday’s close – down from +1,890%! Meanwhile, Zoom Video Communications has kept its gains: +98% YTD. Just another example of how wild these times are…


Have a safe and healthy weekend.




Published by Gemmer Asset Management LLC The material presented (including all charts, graphs and statistics) is based on current public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied on as such. The material is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal. It does not constitute a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objective, financial situations, or needs of individual clients. Clients should consider whether any advice or recommendation in this material is suitable for their particular circumstances and, if appropriate, see professional advice, including tax advice. The price and value of investments referred to in this material and the income from them may fluctuate. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of original capital may occur. Fluctuations in exchange rates could have adverse effects on the value or prices of, or income derive from, certain investments. No part of this material may be (i) copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means or (ii) redistributed without the prior written consent of Gemmer Asset Management LLC (GAM). Any mutual fund performance presented in this material are used to illustrate opportunities within a diversified portfolio and do not represent the only mutual funds used in actual client portfolios. Any allocation models or statistics in this material are subject to change. GAM may change the funds utilized and/or the percentage weightings due to various circumstances. Please contact GAM, your advisor or financial representative for current inflation on allocation, account minimums and fees. Any major market indexes that are presented are unmanaged indexes or index-based mutual funds commonly used to measure the performance of the US and global stock/bond markets. These indexes have not necessarily been selected to represent an appropriate benchmark for the investment or model portfolio performance, but rather is disclosed to allow for comparison to that of well known, widely recognized indexes. The volatility of all indexes may be materially different from that of client portfolios. This material is presented for informational purposes. We maintain a list of all recommendations made in our allocation models for at least the previous 12 months. If you would like a complete listing of previous and current recommendations, please contact our office.


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