24 March 2020

1) The International Monetary Fund stated the global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic could be worse than the global financial crisis of 2008-9. However, the world economic output should recover in 2021 because of the extraordinary fiscal actions already being taken by many countries and their central banks. But for a 2021 recovery, countries need to prioritize containment and strengthen health systems.

2) The U.S. is entering a recession, but the ultimate fear is a protracted malaise akin to a depression. Some prominent economy watchers are drawing comparisons to the Great Depression, although falling short of forecasting another one, based on the fact that the world has not seen a synchronized interruption in economic output in decades as was seen with the Great Depression. The U.S. will suffer a huge economic contraction as businesses close and Americans stay home, with some estimates that the economy will have the worst quarter since 1947.

3) Most U.S. small businesses have only days to stay afloat amid the coronavirus crisis. Only about half of the 30 million small businesses in America have a 15 day cash reserve needed to survive. The shelter in place orders have cut business revenues to near zero almost over night. Particularly hard hit is the service industries such as restaurants, landscaping, personal services and salons. These small businesses employ about 60 million people, or half of American’s work force. Many of the businesses were already operating on razor thin margins before the virus crisis. With so little cash reserves, they are forced to immediately reduce hours or layoff employees to survive.

4) Stock market closings for – 23 MAR 20:

Dow 18,591.93 down 582.05
Nasdaq 6,860.67 down 18.84
S&P 500 2,237.40 down 67.52

10 Year Yield: down at 0.76%

Oil: up at $24.24

3 January 2020

1) Major drug makers such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have plans to raise drug prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States. Nearly all of the price increases will be below 10%, with about half in the range of 4 to 6%. With soaring prescription drug prices a central issue in the presidential election, the move promises to bring the issue front and center to the American public.

2) The year’s first five days of stock markets is often an indicator of how the market will go for the year. On the first trading day of 2020, stocks jumped up, and if the next four secession are also upwards, stock traders anticipate another good year for the markets. Last year, 2019, started out the same way, rebounding from the worst December since the Great Depression.

3) OPEC’s output drop last month as several Persian Gulf producers stepped up their implementation of cutbacks. The reduced oil production is aimed at balancing global oil markets by reducing a new surplus forming. Cutbacks started in 2019, will continue in 2020 with more and deeper cuts expected for this year. Next meeting of the oil alliance is early March.

4) Stock market closings for – 2 JAN 20:

Dow            28,868.80    up    330.36
Nasdaq         9,092.19    up    119.59
S&P 500        3,257.85    up      27.07

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.88%

Oil:    down   at    $61.18