Daily Briefing – 336

Oil Prices Hit Six-Year High Amid OPEC Standoff, Retreat on Other Producers Opening Up

Futures for West Texas Intermediate, the main grade of U.S. crude, jumped 2.4% from Friday’s close to $76.95 a barrel—their highest level since the energy-price crash of late 2014. Brent crude, the benchmark in global energy markets, rose 0.8% to $77.77 a barrel having rallied when the OPEC meeting was called off on Monday.  Prices quickly retreated, however, as traders focused on the possibility that the strife will cause some national producers to open the taps and start exporting more barrels.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, led by Russia, have continued to hold millions of barrels a day in the ground each day, limiting supplies. The U.S. has pushed the cartel to reach a deal that would allow output to rise, cooling the surge in prices. Analysts expect U.S. producers to start adding supply due to higher prices after months of subdued activity. U.S. production is currently around 11 million bpd, so output has room to increase before nearing the U.S. record of nearly 13 million bpd reached in 2019.

Read more at the WSJ

IndustryWeek’s 500 Largest US Manufactures List – COVID’s Impact Felt

Typically, the IndustryWeek U.S. 500 serves as a vital market index, measuring the impact of a full fiscal year’s worth of activity in the manufacturing sector. Typically, tallying year-end bottom- line metrics and key profitability and operational factors for the 500 largest public U.S. manufacturers provides clear and unmistakable insight into the real-world results of any micro or macroeconomic events in the industry

But 2020 was anything but typical, and the numbers it recorded serve as a stark reminder of just how painful it was.  Total revenue for this block of the industry dropped over $390 billion from 2019 and net income fell nearly $201 billion, losses felt most heavily in the petroleum and coal, motor vehicle and parts, rubber and machinery industries, which all saw revenue declines in double-digit percentages.

Read more at IndustryWeek

Problem Solvers Caucus Backs Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus announced on Tuesday announced their support of the $973 billion bipartisan deal announced last month by a bipartisan group of senators.  The caucus’ decision to approve passed with 75% of the vote, with each party passing 50% in support. The caucus endorsed the infrastructure bill as a stand-alone bill and not tied to any reconciliation package. 

Democrats want the bill tied to a reconciliation package that some have said could cost $6 trillion with a focus on climate change. Republicans, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, want both bills unattached.

Read more at The Hill

No Quick Fix for Semiconductor Shortage

The global microchip shortage dominating headlines for the past few months is now estimated to last well beyond 2022. Overordering, growth in 5G automation and limited production are all ongoing factors.  Greater global manufacturing capacity is the only real solution. Both TSMC and Intel are investing major capital to build out their capacities. TSMC is also promising a new foundry in the United States in order to be closer to production.

The Biden administration is attempting to inject money into this area of need and incentivizing leading companies like Intel to build new factories. But the real emphasis must be on building capacity where the consumption is taking place. Eradicating the necessity for chips to travel long distances and potentially cross testy borders will reduce exposure to a risk like this in the future.

Read more at IndustryWeek

NYS Vaccine and COVID Update 

Vaccine Stats as of Tuesday morning:

One Vaccine Dose 

  • 60.5% of all New Yorkers – 11,625,983 (plus 11,799 from a day earlier) 
  • In the Hudson Valley 1,234,421 (plus 1,555) 

Fully Vaccinated

  • 54.6% of all New Yorkers – 10,639,186 are fully vaccinated (Plus 17,816)
  • In the Hudson Valley – 1,118,832 (plus 2,010) are fully vaccinated. 

The Governor  updated COVID data through Monday July 5th.   There were 7 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,993. 


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 347

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 0.58%
  • Mid-Hudson: 0.46%

Useful Websites:

US COVID Update – Hospitalizations Continue Decline – Even ad Delta Variant Gains Traction

To chart the extent of the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal’s trackers show the areas where Covid-19 infections are rising fastest, and trends in new U.S. cases and deaths. They also show vaccine distribution in the U.S.

The graphics below are updated regularly, using the latest data available from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Visit the WSJ COVID Tracker

Delta, Lambda Variant and Masks

The spread of  the Delta Variant is cause for concern and has led to some discussion and disagreement and if and when to mask up to prevent its spread. More than 156 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated. But even though the Covid-19 vaccines are very effective against all the known coronavirus variants, including the highly transmissible delta variant that is spreading rapidly, some communities and physicians are urging a return to masking.

Here is a sample of the opinions based on what we know  about COVID and Delta so far.

Read more and NBC News

Delta, Lambda Variant and Vaccines

In research from Israel the Pfizer Covid Shot’s Effectiveness Falls To 64%.  The fall is largely due to Variants such as delta and lambda.

Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine was less effective at keeping people from getting the coronavirus in Israel in recent weeks, but it continues to provide a strong shield against severe Covid-19, according to government data. The vaccine protected 64% of people against the illness between June 6 and early July, down from a previous 94%. The drop was observed as the delta variant was spreading in Israel, the Health Ministry said. It also coincided with the lifting of virus restrictions at the start of June. (Odenheimer and Shepherd, 7/5)

Read more at Bloomberg

Eurozone Manufacturing PMI Revised to New Record

The IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI was revised higher to a new record high of 63.4 in June 2021, from a preliminary estimate of 63.1, marking a twelfth successive month of expansion in the sector. Overall production growth remained elevated during June, close to the survey records registered earlier in the year, while new orders experienced their third-fastest ever reported increase, with new export orders again increasing sharply over the month. In addition, the pace of job creation was the fastest on record.

Manufacturers struggled to meet higher sales, as evidenced by a near series record increase in backlogs of work. Moreover, supply-side constraints again placed some restrictions on production and average lead times deteriorated to the second-greatest degree in the survey history. On the price front, input and output cost rose at an unprecedented degree. Finally, confidence about future output edged higher in June reaching a level that was close to April’s survey record

Read more at Trading Economics

Cashless Tolling Begins Today on Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

Cashless tolling begins on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge today, July 7. Motorists will be able to drive under the gantries non-stop while overhead censors will capture either their E-ZPass ID number or their license plate. If they don’t have E-ZPass, they will receive a bill in the mail.

The other four bridges operated by the New York State Bridge Authority will convert to the new system over the next several months, said Bridge Authority spokesman Christopher Steber.

Read more at Mid-Hudson News

Boris Johnson Says England Will Lift Most Covid-19 Curbs

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England was on track to lift almost all Covid-19 restrictions as planned on July 19, even as the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus drives a new surge in infections. “This pandemic is far from over,” Mr. Johnson said at a news conference Monday, adding that the U.K. must reconcile itself to more Covid-19 deaths. But vaccines have changed the balance of risks between the burden of disease and the cost to the economy and society of continuing restrictions, he said

The move puts the U.K. in the vanguard of countries betting that vaccines will provide a durable route back to normalcy, despite the circulation of dangerous new variants. Mr. Johnson said the U.K.’s experience of Delta shows the shots have weakened, though not eliminated, the link between rising caseloads, swelling hospital numbers and spiraling deaths that characterized earlier stages of the pandemic.

Read more at the BBC

China’s State Metals Reserves Auctioned off in Double-Quick Time

In a rare move aimed at cooling a rally in metal prices that has pushed up raw material costs for Chinese manufacturers, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said last month it would sell 50,000 tons of aluminum, 30,000 tons of zinc and 20,000 tons of copper on July 5-6. The first round needed only one of two days allotted for all the copper and aluminum on offer to be sold.

The aluminum was sold at around 18,075 yuan ($2,797) a ton, a 5.3% discount to aluminum’s settlement price SAFcv1 on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) on Monday. For copper, bidding began at 8 a.m. Beijing time (0000 GMT)and the last lot of 146 tons was auctioned just 75 minutes later. The sale price at around 67,700 yuan a ton, a 1.6% discount to the price of ShFE copper SCFcv1 for delivery in August.

Read more at NASDAQ.com

What Companies Paid Workers in the Pandemic – Wall Street Journal Analysis Shows What Changed… and What Didn’t

While the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted millions of jobs and most businesses, many workers kept their jobs and their salaries—and some saw pay rise. Median pay changed by 5% or less either way at about a third of S&P 500 companies. It rose by more than 5% at 184 companies, and fell by more than 5% at 125.

Nearly 140 companies in the S&P 500—including Netflix Inc. NFLX 1.43% and railroad CSX Corp. CSX -0.55% —said their median worker was paid at least $100,000 last year. Four dozen, including Starbucks Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., said their median worker made less than $30,000 last year. The wages from those four companies were little changed from 2019.

Read more at the WSJ

EEO-1 Filing Deadline Is Now Aug. 23

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has pushed back the deadline for employers to submit and certify 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data to Aug. 23. Earlier this year, the commission had set the deadline to be July 19. The EEO-1, Component 1 form collects workforce data from employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees. These employers are expected to submit demographic information about the race, gender and the ethnicity of members of their workforce, broken down by job category.

Because of the high number of company support requests for reporting mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs and support requests to obtain user registration and login information, EEOC has a backlog of outstanding support requests, often taking up to four weeks to respond.

Read more at EHS Today