1) There are mounting fears that a surge in Covid-19 this fall and winter could kill 2,900 people a day in America. This is reminiscent of the World War I Spanish Flu pandemic in the fall of 1918 which killed 195,000 Americans in just the month of October. With colder weather, more people gather indoors increasing the risk of coronavirus spread. There are also the risk of catching the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, with makes a person more vulnerable by overwhelming the immune system. Risk of infection spreading has increased with the opening of schools. The increase risk isn’t in just America, with infections spikes in Europe. Paris is closing its bars again trying to arrest the increasing spread of the virus. The city is also banning student parties and putting limitations on outdoor gatherings.
2) The huge movie theater chain Regal Cinemas has announced it is closing all of its locations in the U.S. and U.K. There are 536 stateside Regal Cinemas and 127 Regal and Picturehouse Cinemas in the U.K., all to close down. This is a result of two factors, the first is limited seating and hence reduced revenues in theaters. A further consequence of the pandemic is the limited cinematic offerings for customers because of film release delays. The theater chain will reopen when movie studios resume regular production. The majority of its 45,000 employees will either be furloughed or forced to take unpaid leave until then. AMC, the world’s largest movie theater chain has announced that it is generating almost no revenue and has lost as much as $2.4 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
3) Another result of the coronavirus is the shape increase in drug costs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine, which are up 20 to 50% of pre-virus prices. This is largely because of restriction on the U.S. – Mexico boarder, which now restricts non-essential travel across the boarder, where most of the illicit drugs is entering the country. The virus is effecting the drug prices by also interfering with the cultivation of coca and poppies in foreign lands.
4) Stock market closings for – 5 OCT 20:
Dow 28,148.64 up 465.83 Nasdaq 11,332.48 up 257.47 S&P 500 3,408.63 up 60.19
1) Walmart retailer giant has had its second quarter e-commerce sales jump by 97% with customers having packages shipped to their homes and using curbside pick-up. This adds optimism to Walmart’s upcoming Walmart+ (pronounced Walmart plus) membership, a subscription based service to rival Amazon Prime designed to drive up sales and loyalty. Exceptions are for Walmart+ to continue pushing up e-commerce sales over and above the big jump for the second quarter, signaling again a major profound shift in American retail segment of the economy. The new service will deliver merchandise in one day, if not just a few hours.
2) FexEx is joining other package delivery services to add extra holiday fees for deliveries, from 2 November to 17 January. These surcharges on regular shipments to homes will be between $1 and $5. It’s been since 2016 when FedEx last applied surcharges during peak volume times, and follows UPS and the US postal service using surcharges for the peak package delivery times. With the massive increase in home delivery of merchandise, because of the pandemic, its expected that the holiday surge will set new records in package volume. This in turn will place a large strain on the company and therefore additional cost to overcome the strain. The amount of the fee will depend on the surge over normal volume. Both UPS and FedEx introduced surcharges earlier this summer, in part to make up for the extra cost to keep workers safe during the pandemic.
3) The USPS (United States Postal Service) chief Louis DeJoy announced he is suspending some changes in the post office until after the 2020 election. Dejoy is avoiding any appearance of any impacting on election mail. The suspension includes some longstanding operational initiatives that were in place before he took office. There are fears that cost cutting measures could impact the November election with widespread mail delays.
4) Stock market closings for – 18 AUG 20:
Dow 27,778.07 down 66.84 Nasdaq 11,210.84 up 81.12 S&P 500 3,389.78 up 7.79
1) Global trade experiences its first full-year drop since the financial crisis, with weaker world growth and a manufacturing recession taking their toll. The spread of the coronavirus, with its impact on businesses and households, is increasingly pulling world economics down. While the decline isn’t huge, it is the first since 2009 and follows growth of more than 3% in 2018. The virus has shut off huge areas of China causing the closing of factories and now is spreading internationally.
2) The markets continue to follow the Dow’s thousand point drop with more large loses. To add to the financial worries, bond yields are slipping down, raising concerns that the global economy is slowing significantly because of the spreading coronavirus. There is heavy buying of treasuries in order to shelter money, with the ten year Treasury yield traded at 1.32%, an all time low, with the thirty year bond yield also reaching a record low. Analysts are already cutting their earnings estimates for the first quarter, further dampening hopes for better near term growth.
3) Retail giant Amazon has opened its first Go Grocery store in Seattle. The automated store is cashierless where customers walk in, and get what they want, and on walking out, computer and sensors electronically charging their purchases. The store is over 10,000 square feet and has about 5,000 items including fresh produce, meats and alcohol. This is just another example of the grocery retailers efforts to automate their operations and reduce labor costs.
4) Stock market closings for – 25 FEB 20: Dow is down 1900 points in two days and some experts fear the markets are 500 points away from being a correction.
Dow 27,081.36 down 879.44
Nasdaq 8,965.61 down 255.67
S&P 500 3,128.21 down 97.68
1) The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ruled in June that carriers can block robocalls for customers without them having to sign up for the service. So AT&T will enable its Call Protect service without the customer asking for it. Call Protect does three things, 1) detects and blocks fraudulent calls entirely, 2) flags telemarketers and spam calls, and 3) maintain a personal block list.
2) Walmart reports that China’s factories are now getting urgent and desperate, as concerned U.S. retailers accelerate moving out of the country. They predict that China will see more factory shutdowns as the trade war continues. Suppliers of retail goods from Asia are under increasing pressure to shift their sources to manufactures in other countries at a time when their margins are already very thin.
3) Airline giant American Airlines is having a nightmare summer with a cancellation rate eighteen times higher than Delta Airlines. Labor disputes with alleged slowdowns and adverse weather are major problems the airline faces in trying to maintain its customer base, something hard to do when 7,500 international and domestic flights are canceled with resulting loss of revenues. There are added financial losses in paying compensation, hotel and restaurant cost to stranded customers.
4) Stock market closings for – 10 JUL 19:
Dow 26,860.20 up 76.71 Nasdaq 8,202.53 up 60.80 S&P 500 2,993.07 up 13.44
It seems that Uber and Lyft are crushing the competition in the customer service ride share industry, if that is even an industry to say the least; these two mega companies created and infiltrated ride share customer service. While they are in the forefront of picking up customers through their online apps, taxis and cabs in metro areas like NYC, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco are taking hits and seeing major declines in customer pick ups.
Taxi and cabs are increasingly losing value as the ride share tech giants are taking over the industry, revenue for cabs have gone done drastically even though cabs pickup more people in metro areas such as New York City, statistics show in NYC, taxis in the city picked 450k-500k passengers in April 2016 as compared to Lyft’s & Uber’s 200k passengers combined according to stats provided by Morgan’s Stanley. Though taxis and cabs picked up more people during that time period; their revenue did not come close to what Uber/Lyft made during that month of April.
It looks like Lyft and Uber are giving cab/taxis a run for the their money, or at least “a ride for their money”. -SB