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The SARS Panic and the S&P 500


With swine flu, it it time to break out the masks?

While the swine flu outbreak is tragic for those dealing with it directly, investors should take a step back and wonder about its effect on equities.

Some stocks will, of course, directly suffer or benefit depending upon their business model. And perhaps, if this gets worse, it could impact the worldwide economy. But we went through a very similar exercise 6 years ago with the SARS outbreak.

The chart below shows the timeline of the SARS panic, along with the price chart of the S&P 500. Draw your own conclusions about correlation.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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