No question about it that we will be seeing more variants. Hopefully not more virulent. The big hope on my radar is a universal pan-covid vaccine which could protect against the flu, RSV, and all future coronavirus variants. The mRNA vaccines by Moderna and BioNTech-Pfizer have shown the new modern technology can be adapted and produced very quickly. The U.S. Army is working on such a pan-vaccine. More on that another time.
The WHO dashboard shows what is going on country by country. Globally, as of January 19, 2022, there have been 383.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5.7 million deaths. In the U.S. there have been 74.8 million cases with 884,477 deaths. The cases are in decline but deaths are still growing because of the time lag. We are at 10 billion vaccine doses administered. The unvaccinated continue to be a major problem caused by politicalization, in my opinion. Some hospitals are still filling up and staffing to care for the unvaccinated is still a big problem. The unvaccinated are being very unfair to all of us but especially toward our hospitals.
SpaceX continues on a roll. They launched Falcon 9s three times this week, and they have recovered the first stage for the 106th time. One of the launches this week used fairings recovered for the 4th and 6th time. The savings from booster and fairings in part explains the $100 billion valuation of SpaceX and making Elon Musk the richest person on Earth. Visit the “Where is Webb?” page and see a snapshot of the current status. Webb is now orbiting L2. Ongoing cooldown and eventual instrument turn-on, testing and calibration occur. Telescope mirror alignment and calibration also begin as temperatures fall within range and instruments are enabled. The temperature on the cold side of the telescope is -357 degrees. Eventually we will be treated to some spectacular images from near the beginning of time.
Investment in space companies hit a record $14.5 billion in 2021. Cathie Wood’s Ark Space Exploration ETF (symbol ARKX) is probably a good buy since the tech sell off.
The GAMMAT stocks, tech stocks in my “other” category, and crypto had a volatile week but on Friday, almost all were up. The S&P 500 rose to end the best week of the year so far. Amazon pushed the Nasdaq 1.6% higher on Friday.
The 10 year t-note yield edged up slightly. Netflix was up 1%. Some pundits are saying the market is still oversold while others say this is the beginning of a big correction to the downside. I remain bullish but will have to be more patient.
An economist said Bitcoin has no Inherent value and cryptos could be a ‘Speculative Mania’. I love hearing that. It confirms the long term potential. Just like when Bill Gates said the Internet has no role in business back in 1995.
Crypto is up to $1.7 trillion and still 15% of gold. Many factors at play with crypto. Regulation, competition from a Fed-based crypto of its own, etc. NFTs are becoming very real. DeFi is exploding. Venture capitalists are pouring billions into crypto and blockchain startups. It seems some buyers have come in for crypto at the lower prices. I continue to hold Bitcoin and am buying small positions in a number of the newer cryptocurrencies.