Daily Briefing – 301

Here’s What You Need To Know About the Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack and Shutdown

The United States’ largest fuel pipeline has been mostly shut since Friday after a cybersecurity attack — and it’s not clear how long the outage will last. Wells Fargo says the restart date is key, and outlined three possible scenarios for reopening that could help investors gauge the possible impact.

The operator of Colonial Pipeline fell prey to a ransomware attack on Friday, forcing all pipeline operations to stop. Colonial Pipeline said Sunday it is developing a system restart plan, and that some smaller lines are now operational. The company said it will “bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations

Read more about scenarios and impacts at CNBC

Five Takeaways On The Surprisingly Poor Jobs Report

Economists and politicians alike were shocked by the unexpectedly tepid April jobs report released Friday, which showed that the economy only added about a quarter the number of jobs most were expecting.

The report found U.S. businesses added just 266,000 new jobs in April instead of the roughly 1 million that economists had projected. The figure would be solid in the midst of a strong economy, but was tremendously disappointing for a nation emerging from a pandemic in which 9.8 million people remain unemployed.

Here are five takeaways from The Hill

April Employment Shrinks in Manufacturing

The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. added 266,000 jobs last month, less than half the 770,000 jobs added in March. The sluggish overall growth turned into employment loss in manufacturing: The sector lost a net 18,000 jobs, mainly due to heavy losses in transportation equipment.

Durable goods manufacturing employment fell a net 20,000 jobs in April, driven by substantial losses in transportation equipment. That industry as a whole lost 28,000 jobs, almost all of which—27,000—were in motor vehicle and parts production. Other sectors in durable-goods production that lost workers last month were wood products, which lost 7,200 workers; fabricated metal products, which lost 2,900; and furniture and related products, which lost 1,400. 

Read more at IndustryWeek

Highest Regional Unemployment in Mt. Vernon, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie

The City of Mount Vernon had the highest rate of unemployment in the Hudson Valley in the month of March, at 9.4 percent, followed by the City of Newburgh, at 8.6 percent, and the City of Poughkeepsie, at 8.5 percent. The City of White Plains had the lowest rate in the region at 4.9 percent.

The state labor department reported the regional rate of joblessness was 6.0 percent. 

US Vaccine Rollout – 57% of Adults Have One Dose, Pace Slowing Rapidly

The US has distributed 325 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and administered 252 million doses. Daily doses administered continues to decrease, down from a high of 3.3 million (April 11) to 2.1 million. Approximately 1.3 million people are achieving fully vaccinated status per day, down from a high of 1.8 million per day on April 12.

A total of 149 million individuals have received at least 1 dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, equivalent to 45% of the entire US population and 57% of all adults. Of those, 109 million are fully vaccinated, which corresponds to 33% of the total population and 42% of adults. Among adults aged 65 years and older, progress has largely stalled at 83% with at least 1 dose and 70% fully vaccinated. In terms of full vaccination, 56 million individuals have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 45 million have received the Moderna vaccine, and 8.6 million have received the J&J-Janssen vaccine.

Read More at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

NYS Vaccine Update – 60% of Adults Have Received at Least One Vaccine Dose

Governor Cuomo announced Saturday that 60 percent of New Yorkers who are 18 years of age or older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 168,958 doses were administered in the last 24 hours, and more than 1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.   

As of Saturday morning 9,581,436 (plus 55,078 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 7,611,920 are fully vaccinated (Plus 122,305).  In the Hudson Valley 1,016,079 (plus 5,821) have at least one dose and 786,767 (plus 14,187) are fully vaccinated. 

NYS COVID Update – Hospitalizations Continue to Fall

The Governor  updated COVID data through Wednesday May 5th.  There were 35 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,279. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,024
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 163

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 3,936
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 355

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 1.45%
  • Mid-Hudson: 1.47%

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Germany’s Merkel Pushes Back on Vaccine Patent Waiver in Row With U.S.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in against a U.S. proposal to waive patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines, casting doubt on whether the idea has enough international support to become a reality. The U.S. plan would create “severe complications” for the production of vaccines, a German government spokeswoman said Thursday in an email.  

The U.S., Germany and other countries will take up debate over the idea in the coming weeks via the World Trade Organization, pitting the idea of sharing proprietary know-how against the need to boost global supplies, especially in developing countries that have struggled to get their populations inoculated. 

Read more at Bloomberg

Pfizer Seeks Full FDA Approval For COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have started an application to request the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for its COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer is the first coronavirus vaccine maker in the U.S. to request full approval. Like Pfizer, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines had been previously cleared for use under the agency’s emergency use authorization — a less rigorous approval method to aid a swifter response to the pandemic.

An FDA approval for a vaccine means the agency has decided that its benefits outweigh the known risks following a review of the manufacturer’s testing results. If granted, Pfizer’s full stamp of approval would only apply to the vaccine for people who are 16 and older. Meanwhile, the vaccine maker is seeking emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine to include children between 12 and 15.

Read more at NPR

China Pollution Hits New High

China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 exceeded those of the U.S. and the developed world combined, according to a report published Thursday by research and consulting firm Rhodium Group.

The country’s emissions more than tripled during the past three decades, the report added. China is now responsible for more than 27% of total global emissions. The U.S., which is the world’s second-highest emitter, accounts for 11% of the global total. India is responsible for 6.6% of global emissions, edging out the 27 nations in the EU, which account for 6.4%, the report said.

Read more at CNBC

IBM Announces New, Highly Efficient Chip

With the arrival of Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) technology, the intricacies of multipatterning techniques developed on previous technology nodes can now be applied with the finer resolution that EUV provides. That, along with other more technical improvements, can lead to a decrease in transistor size, enabling the future of semiconductors.

Friday’s IBM is announced it has created the world’s first 2 nanometer node chip. The announcement states that IBM’s 2nm development will improve performance by 45% at the same power, or 75% energy at the same performance, compared to modern 7nm processors. 

Read more at anandtech.com

New Yorkers Gradually Return to the Subway

A year ago this week the New York City subway system shut down overnight for disinfecting – its first closure in 115 years. This unprecedented move was intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

New data suggests signs of a gradual return to normalcy. Citywide, April 2020 ridership was just 8.3 percent of what it was in April 2019. In April 2021, ridership eclipsed 2.1 million in a day, returning to 31 percent. Our most recent update now provides data on the ridership changes at every subway station across the system. As New York fully opens up and 24/7 service resumes later this month, numbers across the system are likely to rebound more. The MTA is paramount to the state’s economic recovery.

Copper, Other Commodities are At or Near All time Highs – What Does It Mean?

Copper prices hit a record high. The commodity, seen as a bellwether for the health of the global economy, rose by 1.4% to $10,361 a ton, surpassing the previous peak set in 2011, during a commodities boom. Demand comes from China and the green transition in rich countries: the metal is needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels.

The view of central bankers is that today’s supply shortages are likely to be temporary and inflation will prove transient. Recent history is on their side. If this time proves to be different, it will be because of a peculiar clash. Habits of capital discipline formed in the previous, slow-growth business cycle are not obviously well suited to an economy running hot. As the cycle unfolds, copper prices will signify just how smoothly supply is responding to demand.

Read more at The Economist (subscription)

A Tale of Two Pandemics: Europe and the US 

A year ago, it seemed that Europe was better placed to recover from the pandemic. That the tables have now turned speaks volumes about the strengths and weaknesses of the continents’ respective government structures and the cultural values that underpin them. The lessons learned could help the U.S. and Europe cope better the next time a crisis looms.

For the U.S., the lesson may be that Europe’s national bureaucracies, built on a tradition of social welfare, are better suited to mitigate health and economic disasters than America’s more fractured, free enterprise-based system. Stronger safety nets in Europe meant fewer people with COVID-19 symptoms felt they had to go to work anyway, potentially threatening others. For Europe, the lesson may be that solving such crises requires a speed and size of federal action that the U.S. got right and that the European Union just can’t match.

Read more a the Christian Science Monitor