Topley’s Top Ten – April 14, 2020

1.The Majority of Investors Expect U

U and W 75% of Poll

Reformed Broker Josh Brown

2.Investment Grade Bonds Approaching New Highs.

LQD Investment Grade ETF

3.IPO and Merger Market Shutdown

Meanwhile, upheaval in the credit markets and economic uncertainty have brought buyout volume, already sluggish before the virus, to a virtual standstill. With the IPO and merger markets all but shut down and valuations depressed, any hope of selling investments profitably is also out the window for now.

Private-Equity Firms Scramble to Shore Up Coronavirus-Hit Holdings–Any hope of selling investments profitably is out the window for now

4.How Bad was the Crash in Global Market Cap?  $30 Trillion

5.States Hit the Most by Unemployment

6.Coronavirus Cases Per 1 Million Population.

Steve Rumsey

7.New Cases Worldwide Chart

Spain allowed some employees to return to work in factories, offices and on construction sites on Monday – It comes as Spain reports more encouraging casualty figures and amid cautious optimism that the pandemic may be reaching its peak.  Spain reported the smallest number of new coronavirus infections since March 20 on Monday and saw the daily death toll decrease.

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading

8.How Israel Plans to Restart Its Economy.

INTERNATIONALHow Israel Plans to Restart Its EconomyListen, we’re like you—we’ll read anything that provides a blueprint for getting life back to 10% of normal. One interesting guide comes from Israel, where the country’s National Security Council has reportedly finalized a plan to slowly lift stay-at-home restrictions.The plan consists of four phases and focuses on opening more lucrative sectors first, Haaretz reports:Phase 1: Tech and finance, plus slices of trade-oriented industries. These sectors employ more than 10% of the population. Phase 2: Commerce and retail stores. Phase 3: Restaurants and hotels. The NSC expects most of the education system will be back at this point, too.Phase 4: Recreational sectors like sports, air travel, and entertainment.If that seems like a straightforward process, consider these caveats:Each phase will have a two-week buffer to review whether the next can proceed.All of the public health guidelines we’ve been subject to (social distancing, face masks, etc.) will be required for reopening industries.None of these phases applies to people over 60 and other at-risk populations.Bottom line: Coronavirus restrictions will almost definitely extend into the summer.+ While we’re here: NY, NJ, and a few other northeastern states have formed a task force to coordinate reopening their economies. So have some West Coast states. 

9. College Football Top 25 Generate $2.5B…Forbes reported college football’s 25 most valuable teams generated a combined $2.5 billion a year in revenue.

Colleges Worry If Sporting Event Shutdowns Will Affect The Big Moneymaker: Football


Through guarantee games, like last year’s contest between heavily-favored Florida State and Alabama State, lesser schools can turn huge losses into huge paydays.

The shock of the NCAA canceling college sports largely is gone.

The cost, is not.

Santino Morina, a 20-year-old wrestler at Old Dominion University in Virginia, felt it last week when he got an emergency email.

“It was urgent news,” Morina says, “[it said] we need to have a team meeting online at 4:30.”

Morina logged on from his home in New Jersey, where he’s staying during the pandemic. He heard his coaches announce that because of financial issues, they were ending the school’s wrestling program. A program that had been part of ODU sports since 1957.

“It was April 2,” Morina remembers, “so I was like ‘Oh it’s probably just an April Fool’s joke.’ And then, the more they started talking to us, the more I realized this is no joke. This is for real. The coaches were getting emotional and it really started to sink in, like, it’s actually over.”


In A Pandemic, The Paupers Of Professional Baseball Are Getting Help

The shutdown of sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic has put athletic careers on hold and interrupted the flow of money that makes sports such a big business. College sports are trying to deal with the shortfall and dreading what happens if the shutdown affects the big moneymaker: football.

Hard winter or ice age?

This month, the NCAA was going to start distributing about $600 million to its Division 1 member schools, like Old Dominion. But with the cash-cow men’s basketball tournament canceled, along with spring championships, the figure plummeted to $225 million. It helped seal ODU wrestling’s fate, and left athletic departments everywhere, scrambling.

Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard recently announced many in his department are taking pay cuts and coaches are suspending bonuses and incentives.

On a conference call with reporters last week, Pollard said it could get much worse.

“We’re probably in a phase right now that we’re in a long hard winter,” Pollard said, “but if we can’t play football this fall, I mean, it’s ice age time.”

King football

Two years ago, Forbes reported college football’s 25 most valuable teams generated a combined $2.5 billion a year in revenue. “A tremendous portion of those earnings goes toward supporting non-revenue sports like softball and swimming,” and, to cash-hungry opponents.

When Florida State thumped Alabama State last year, 49-12, the losing team actually got what it wanted. A reported $425,000.

It was a guarantee game, where a lesser team usually endures a pummeling at the hands of a major program, for big bucks.

Alabama State Athletic Director Jennifer Lynne Williams says these games are critically important for a “limited resource institution” like hers.

“[Guarantee game money] goes into our general fund,” Williams says, “it goes to support the University. The University gives us our operating budget and they’re able to fully fund us with scholarships so when we’re going out and playing, the money goes into supporting our institution as a whole.”

“Not having those guarantee [games], it doesn’t just affect athletics, it can effect the entire University.”

Guarantee games usually are warm-ups for the power schools, played before conference competition begins. One of the possible scenarios for this football season, depending on the status of the outbreak, is playing a shortened season with just conference games.


NCAA Division 1 Athletes Get Another Shot At Spring Sports

The impact would be greatest on those smaller schools, like Alabama State, who’d lose out on the big paydays.

The concern goes way beyond guarantee games, however. There’s fear a football shutdown could have a devastating effect on the entire NCAA system. Williams thinks athletic directors are uniquely qualified to handle the stresses and uncertainties currently facing college sports.

“I really do think being a former athlete has prepared a lot of A.D.’s for this [situation],” says Williams, who played basketball at the University of North Carolina. “We have to continue to build up our staffs emotionally and support our student athletes during these unprecented times.”

So far, Williams says she hasn’t had to make dramatic changes because of the financial challenges. Alabama State’s $15 million athletic budget pales in comparison to the power conference schools, and Williams says spending less is a way of life in her department.

“We always talk about being fiscally conservative,” she says, adding with a laugh “that’s something I probably say to my staff too, too often. So now it’s even more important.”

While Williams hasn’t had to cut jobs or sports, she knows the future remains uncertain.

“I think as [the pandemic] continues to play out, if it doesn’t improve, I think everybody’s going to have to look at how you scale back,” she says.

Found at Abnormal Returns

10.Bill Gates Always Reads Before Bed. Science Suggests You Should Too

The best tool to beat bedtime anxiety? A book.

By Jessica StillmanContributor,

In these tragic and remarkable times, tearing yourself away from the newsquieting your mind, and actually getting to bed at a reasonable hour can be a challenge. You can’t make the world any less crazy, but according to Bill Gates and science there is a simple solution to help you get better sleep — put down your phone and pick up a book. 

Not only does the billionaire bookaholic swear by a bedtime reading, studies suggest drifting off with a book can make you less stressed, more well rested and empathetic, and maybe even richer. 

Smarter, less stressed, and better rested.

“I read an hour almost every night. It’s part of falling asleep,” Gates told The Seattle Timesway back in 1990. Presumably, he’s been a bit too busy to keep up with this habit a few times since then, but judging by the constant stream of book recommendations coming from Gates, he’s still a dedicated bedtime reader. Plenty of other icons and CEOs also swear by the practice

Obviously, dedicating an hour an evening to a book helps you be a more informed person, but science suggests there are plenty of reasons beyond just exercising your brain to keep a stack of books on your nightstand: 

·       You’ll probably sleep better. When mattress review site Sleep Junkie surveyed 1,000 people, it found those who read before bed slept an average of an hour and 37 minutes more than non-readers. Nearly three quarters reported they had a harder time falling asleep without reading. 

·       You just might end up richer. Correlation is definitely not causation here, but the same survey found bedtime readers make an average of $3,705 more annually. 

·       You’ll be less stressed. Not convinced by research conducted by mattress slingers? Fair enough, but a study done by the U.K.’s University of Sussex showed reading before bed can reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. More than taking a walk, sipping tea, or listening to music.  

·       You’ll be more empathetic. Likewise, a review of academic research on the subject concluded that reading fiction can improve your empathy, boosting your EQ.  

·       You’ll be more focused. Another strain of neuroscience research has compared the effects on our brains of the kind of deep reading we do when we get lost in a book with the skim reading we do on screens. The results show that sustained reading helps train our brains to concentrate and think carefully about complex problems. Tab hopping and Twitter skimming erodes these skills. 

The obvious conclusion here is that if you want a stronger brain, less stress, and better sleep, be like Bill Gates and read before bed. I admit that personally I’m struggling to put down my phone right now. But this science is a healthy reminder to keep up the good fight and try to get back to a bedtime book reading routine. 


The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of