For the first time in eight months I stepped on a plane for a quick trip. I was wearing a mask and gloves and using liberal amounts of hand sanitizer. Still, I had some concerns about what the flight might look like. Would it be crowded?
See the picture below. As you can see, everything is not back to normal in the travel industry.
As you have noticed, markets continue to rally on expectations good news is coming next year. Remember, the markets are looking past this dismal news towards a virus pandemic under control with the introduction of a vaccine.
Now for a current condition a reality check. CNBC recently provided five charts that are telling about our current economic condition. This is what today’s reality is. It’s going to be a rough road back for the economy.
1. Direction requests
Driving and walking directions from Apple’s navigation system, Maps, have continued to show little movement since the beginning of July.
2. Restaurant bookings
Despite some daily variation, U.S. restaurant bookings have remained at nearly 60% less than last year, data from the booking app OpenTable shows.
However, as you have noticed, markets continue to rally on expectations good news is coming next year. So as you read and review these charts, remember the markets are looking past this dismal news towards a virus pandemic under control with the introduce introduction of a vaccine.
3. Hotel occupancy
National hotel occupancy sits at just below 50%, up 1% from a week ago, according to data from the global hospitality research company STR. Comparatively, U.S. occupancy in July 2019 was at 73.8%.
4. Air travel
The number of passengers traveling through airport security checkpoints is still anywhere between 20% and 30% of what it was last year, data from the Transportation Security Administration shows.
5. Home Purchases
U.S. home purchases have sat at a 20% increase year over year for another week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. However, mortgage applications were down 5.1%.
From a portfolio positioning standpoint, we continue to be thoughtful about how we invest as we believe volatility is going to be significant. Investing in assets should be focused on positions that will get through this crisis and have long-term strong cash flow. This continues to be our focus.