Delta Variant Moves Markets
U.S. stocks, oil prices and government bond yields slid Monday as anxiety mounted over the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant and its potential impact on the global economy. The moves were reminiscent of trading patterns that prevailed in the early days of the pandemic. Investors sold shares of companies directly affected by restrictions on movement and business, while buying government bonds and stocks that stood to benefit from renewed lockdowns.
Investors sheltered in the safety of government bonds. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell to 1.207%—its lowest level since February—from 1.30% Friday. Bond yields fall when bond prices climb. Oil prices fell after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a Russia-led group of big producers agreed to raise production. Futures on Brent crude, the international benchmark, tumbled 5.7% to $69.36 a barrel, their lowest level in more than six weeks.
Federal Count of New York COVID-19 Deaths Far Higher Than State Reports
The federal government’s count of the COVID-19 death toll in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which has stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting virus deaths.
The discrepancy in death counts continued to widen this year, according to an Associated Press review. New York state’s official death count, presented daily to the public and on the state’s Department of Health website, stood at around 43,000 this week. But the state has provided the federal government with data that shows roughly 54,000 people have died with COVID-19 as a cause or contributing factor listed on their death certificate.
The Council of Industry Daily Briefing Uses the numbers reported by the State.
DiNapoli: State Tax Collections Continue to Exceed Projections
State tax receipts exceeded the Enacted Budget Financial Plan forecast by $4.8 billion from April through June, the first three months of the 2021-22 State Fiscal Year, according to the monthly State Cash Report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Tax receipts through June totaled $30.9 billion, almost $17 billion more than received in the same period last year, spurred in part by a $13.5 billion year-to-year increase in personal income tax (PIT) receipts. Much of this change is attributable to delays in PIT filing deadlines from April 15 to July 15 in 2020 and May 17 in 2021. In addition, PIT collections received from final returns and extension requests associated with annual filings increased this year. Fiscal year-to-date PIT receipts are $3.6 billion over projections.
JPMorgan Chase Survey: CEOs are Optimistic
Business optimism remains at the highest level it’s been in over a decade, according to a new survey out from JPMorgan Chase. Nearly nine out of ten executives surveyed (88%) said they are optimistic about their company’s prospects for the next six months—the highest level of optimism in the survey’s 11-year history, and more than double the rates of a year ago. The vast majority (80%) expect their revenues/sales to rise, and nearly half (46%) plan to increase their capital spending.
There are clouds on the horizon. Supply chain challenges, a tight labor market, inflation and cybersecurity all rank high on the list of business concerns for the coming months.
NYS Vaccine and COVID Update –
Vaccine Stats as of Monday July 19th:
One Vaccine Dose
- 61.7% of all New Yorkers – 11,852,773 (plus 11,458 from a day earlier)
- In the Hudson Valley 1,142,539 (plus 1,019)
- 56.0% of all New Yorkers – 10,891,119 are fully vaccinated (Plus 12,058)
- In the Hudson Valley – 1,141,520 (plus 1,758) are fully vaccinated.
The Governor updated COVID data through Sunday July 18th. There were 3 COVID related deaths for a total of 43,034.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 378
Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:
- Statewide 1.26%
- Mid-Hudson: 0.99%
- Read the press release
- Visit the vaccine tracker site
- See the School Districts Dashboard
- See the SUNY Dashboard
- State Vaccine Information Site
US COVID – Cases Are Rising in States With Low Vaccination Rates… Mostly
Among the 10 states with the lowest per capita weekly incidence, 7 are in the top 10 in terms of 1+ dose vaccination, and 7 are in the top 10 in terms of full vaccination. While the majority of states with lower weekly incidence also are reporting higher vaccination coverage. There are some notable exceptions. Michigan is currently reporting the lowest per capita weekly incidence (9.2 weekly cases per 100,000 population), but it ranks #24 in terms of 1+ dose coverage (52.2%) and #23 for full coverage (48.1%). Similarly, South Dakota is reporting the third lowest incidence, but it is #28 (51.3%) and #26 (46.2%) for partial and full vaccination coverage, respectively.
Among the 10 states with the highest per capita weekly incidence, 4 are reporting among the bottom 10 in terms of both partial and full vaccination coverage—Mississippi, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Arkansas—and Oklahoma ranks just outside the bottom 10 for partial coverage (#39) but ranks #41 for full coverage. Like with the states reporting lower incidence, there are exceptions here as well. Notably, Florida is #21 (55.2%) and #25 (47.3%) in terms of partial and full vaccination coverage, respectively, but it is reporting the third-highest per capita weekly incidence (183.2).
WHO: More Dangerous COVID-19 Variants Likely
The pandemic is far from over and there is a high likelihood of more dangerous and difficult to control COVID-19 variants emerging while global vaccination rates remain low, the World Health Organization says. The virus is surging rapidly in Africa, with some regions facing shortages of oxygen and hospital space, WHO officials advise while reports show a dramatic drop in routine childhood vaccinations amid the pandemic — a trend that could be “catastrophic” if outbreaks of other diseases occur in areas already battling COVID-19.
Regeneron Plans $1.8B Expansion in Hudson Valley
Regeneron has plans pending approval with the town of Greenburgh to build a research and development center and parking garage on its campus and in Thursday’s announcement said it would design, construct and fit out up to eight buildings, three parking garages and a central utility plant totaling approximately 900,000 square feet.
Regeneron’s President and Chief Executive Officer Leonard S. Schleifer said in the announcement, “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of continued and long-term investment in the biopharmaceutical industry and Regeneron is proud to pursue life-changing science and technology from our labs and manufacturing facilities in New York State The project is planned to take place in two phases over six years.
OSHA Changes Focus of COVID NEP
The revised directive shrinks the number of targeted industries whose workers are identified as being most at risk for COVID-19 exposure. Those who are covered by the program still includes healthcare and some non-healthcare industry segments considered higher risk, such as meat and poultry processing, and warehousing.
The revised NEP also removes an appendix to the agency’s March directive that contained a list of secondary target industries, which apparently will no longer be subject to the enforcement initiative. These include: food manufacturing; beverage manufacturing; wood product manufacturing; paper manufacturing; other petroleum and coal products manufacturing; chemical manufacturing; plastics and rubber product manufacturing; nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing; primary metal manufacturing; an d asphalt paving, roofing and saturated materials manufacturing.
Trudeau to Ease Border Rules Aug. 9 for Fully Vaccinated Americans. Now it’s Biden’s move
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will loosen border restrictions Aug. 9 for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents looking to visit Canada for nonessential travel. A senior Trudeau cabinet minister said earlier Monday that while the U.S. administration will make its own call on the border, Canada is looking forward to hearing about American changes.
“We hope that at the right moment the American government will be able to change their border measures, however, we respect that it’s their decision,” Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters in French after the announcement. “We will continue to work in a privileged way with the Americans and we hope to have news from them soon.”
Deloitte Back-to-School Survey: Tech Sales Propel Parents’ School Spending
Confidence and clarity are creating a sense of normalcy to the upcoming school year. As parents look to replenish items, back-to-school spending is projected to rise 16% YoY. Digital learning tools are replacing traditional school supplies, driving tech sales up 37% YoY. Even as schools open, more than half of respondents plan to spend on online resources.
For school-related tech products, online retailers are the preferred destination. For traditional back-to-school products, mass merchants still lead while dollar stores gain ground.
Pattern Study: Housing Costs Remain Out of Reach for Many Area Renters
The report said the cost of rental housing makes the gap between what people can afford to pay and what it costs to rent in the region even wider. An examination of the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report shows that renters in all nine Hudson Valley counties in Pattern’s footprint would have to work far more than a full-time job in order to afford the cost of a two-bedroom apartment.
“The bottom line is that rents are simply unaffordable for the people we count on every day,” said Joe Czajka, senior vice president of Pattern and the executive director of the Center for Housing Solutions and Community Initiatives.
Rivian Delaying Customer EV Deliveries Until September
Rivian, the electric vehicle startup with backing from Ford Motors and Amazon, will miss a major delivery target. R.J. Scaringe, Rivian’s CEO, made the announcement in a letter to customers who had ordered the truck. In the letter, Scaringe wrote the R1T would be available in September, with the R1S available “shortly thereafter in the fall.”
The latest announcement is the second delay in deliveries. In May 2021, Rivian said the vehicles would be available in June before pushing the delivery date back a month. In the letter to customers, Scaringe said the pandemic has had “a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated,” and noted that factory construction and component supply are among the company’s pain points.
Freedom Day – England Loosens Restrictions
Most covid-19 restrictions in England ended yesterday. (Health policy is devolved in Britain, so Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales move at different paces.) Capacity-caps for bars and restaurants have been lifted, nightclubs can reopen, and face masks are no longer required by law in public places.
Tabloids have dubbed it “freedom day”. Polling suggests, however, a majority of Britons would like to see many of the current restrictions continue. Little wonder: some 48,000 covid-19 cases were reported in Britain on July 18th, a level not seen since Britain was in the midst of a second wave in January. In any case, this time deaths are far lower—with 25 recorded on July 18th—thanks to a vaccination campaign which, so far, has seen 88% of British adults receive at least one dose.