Good morning, it's Paul here with the SCVR for Weds.

Estimated timing - I should be mostly done by 1pm, but will probably need a bit more time to get everything done, so let's say 3pm.
Update at 14:34 - sorry, I nodded off after lunch (trainee pensioner!) so will keep going until 5pm.
Update at 16:40 - today's report is now finished.

Please see the header for the shares I'll be reviewing today. I've included a couple of reader requests.


Vaccine hopes

Every now and then the US markets get excited about the prospects for a covid-19 vaccine. I've been glued to CNBC (American financial news channel) for months now, following events. The positive attitude there is astonishing, compared with the seemingly all pervading negativity of UK small cap investors. Whatever problems the economy and covid throw at the markets, they just brush it off as temporary and irrelevant in the USA, chasing share prices higher. The argument goes that whatever problems emerge, the Fed and the Govt will just keep throwing ever more stimulus, and back-stopping borrowings to enable even normally insolvent companies to continue trading (the one exception so far being Hertz). Plus a vaccine is supposedly going to eradicate covid, so why worry about it? Doesn't this strike you as overly optimistic? It does me.

Last night after hours, vaccine hopes caused the futures to gap upwards. I got stopped out again. It's proving very expensive taking a bearish view on the US markets, so think I'll have to just admit defeat there. However, I'm seeing so many similarities with 1999-2000, it's uncanny. E.g. the Robinhood (a free dealing app) traders, who are chasing momentum shares ever higher, and buying every dip. The experts are scoffing at their naivety, but (so far anyway) they're making money.

With casinos & sports shut, the assertion is that people are instead gambling on the stock market, concentrating into wildly speculative valuations on things like Tesla (where I'm still short). This is clearly the euphoric last stage of a bull market in my view, I think conditions are setting up for a market crash, or at least a very big correction - at least in the pockets of crazy over-valuation. IPOs are booming across the pond, and generally going to a big premium. Again, another feature of a manic bull market. Yet it feels completely different…

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