This month was another roller coaster ride in the stock market. There was some improvement in the middle of the month as Trump’s team used every trick available to prop up the markets. News of States reopening some businesses and people starting to receive their stimulus checks also helped. Early in the month I sold Center Point Energy (CNP) at a big loss. I was disappointed that they cut their dividend by 50%. Of course, it recovered somewhat by the end of the month. I added a small position in Abbvie (ABBV) a drug company. They have a 5.7% dividend and are holding up pretty well so far. I sold Zilinx (XLNX) for a small profit and bought Methode Electronics (MEI). I also added to my PPL Corp position for their dividend.
I took some money market funds and added to a few of the closed end funds that I own. Money market funds have gone from 2.32% to 0.32% in the past month. This will force people (like me) into riskier investments. Most CEF funds have taken a beating in the last 6 weeks. But, they keep paying out dividends, even in a down market. That is how they are designed. So, if you have faith that the economy will eventually recover, you have to buy when things are on sale. My April income from all sources was around $1900. That number will be much less without a stimulus check in May.
Trump was threatening to add more tariffs to China today. This caused a big sell-off that is threatening to erase all of the gains we made in April. It is unlikely that China is going to admit to causing the pandemic. Socialist countries seem to do better in a crisis because they have tighter control over their people. But, they don’t do so well when things are going well and people start asking for more human rights and freedoms.