All this has dampened the enthusiasm of retail investors who were instrumental in fueling the rotation into lagging stocks. With that, market outperformance reverted in the last couple of weeks to the narrower theme of “stay-at-home” stocks — and even that is likely to become even narrower as a growing segment of corporate America announces that it is suspending advertising on social media sites.

Absent a new catalyst, markets that now lack both drivers and anchors are likely to languish in volatile and downward-trending trading. And with fundamentals unlikely to improve anytime soon given the spillovers between Covid-19 and the economy, investors will have to pin their hopes again on policies and, in particular, the reactivation of the Fed put. But with elevated asset prices already so disconnected from fundamentals, and with the divergence between Wall Street and Main Street attracting greater political and social attention and concern, it could well turn out that the Fed put is more out of the money than many investors assume.

Mohamed A. El-Erian is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the chief economic adviser at Allianz SE, the parent company of Pimco, where he served as CEO and co-CIO. He is president-elect of Queens' College, Cambridge, senior adviser at Gramercy and professor of practice at Wharton. His books include "The Only Game in Town" and "When Markets Collide."

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