Cuomo: Phase Three for Five Regions – Percent Testing Positive is Key Metric
In his press briefing today the Governor confirmed that five regions will enter phase three of reopening today, June 12th. Phase three industries include indoor dining in food service establishments and personal care. These regions include: Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mahawk Valley, North Country and the Southern Tier. The Mid Hudson is likely to enter phase three June 23rd assuming we all remain diligent wearing face coverings, practicing good hygiene and social distancing.
The most important metric to watch as the State reopens is the daily positive testing rate. To track that metric the State has launched a dashboard showing how many tests have been administered and how many tests were positive as a raw number and a percentage. Currently, all regions are showing low positive rates. The State will monitor the daily test results in all regions to ensure each region can continue through the reopening phases.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Better Than Expected
Initial claims totaled 1.54 million, compared with the 1.6 million expected from economists surveyed by Dow Jones and a plunge of 355,000 from the previous week’s total just shy of 1.9 million. The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility in the numbers fell by 286,250 to 2 million. Though the total decelerated for the 10th straight week, it still represents a stunningly sharp exodus of workers to the unemployment line over the past three months. There were 705,676 claims filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
Those collecting benefits declined by 339,000 to 20.9 million, compared with the crisis peak of 24.9 million during the week of May 9. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell to 21.9 million, a decrease of 404,750 from a week earlier.
Stock Futures Jump After Thursday’s Sell Off on Wall Street
Stock futures jumped Friday morning, recovering some declines after the three major indices closed out their worst day since mid-March during the regular session Thursday on Wall Street. The rout came as investors nervously eyed rising coronavirus cases in some parts of the country, and considered officials’ warnings of sustained economic damage due to the outbreak’s after-effects.
By Thursday’s close, the Dow dropped by around 7%, or 1,861 points, for the index’s worst day since March 16 and its fourth largest point-drop on record. Each of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropped more than 5% for their worst sessions since mid-March.
Increases in new coronavirus cases in some parts of the country contributed to investors’ worries during Thursday’s session, triggering the steep sell-off in risk assets and among travel and leisure stocks especially. Officials in Houston, Texas suggested they were considering reestablishing stay-at-home orders amid the latest rise in local cases, with Texas having just reported its biggest one-day jump in cases since the pandemic began on Wednesday.
Regeneron Begins First Human Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Antibody ‘Cocktail’
“REGN-COV2 could have a major impact on public health by slowing spread of the virus and providing a needed treatment for those already sick – and could be available much sooner than a vaccine,” said George D. Yancopoulos, co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron. “The antibody cocktail approach may also have long-term utility for elderly and immuno-compromised patients, who often do not respond well to vaccines. Ultimately, the world needs multiple solutions for COVID-19, and the innovative biopharma industry is collectively working hard to help as many people as possible with a variety of complementary approaches.”
The cocktail consists of two antibodies that are produced in mice that have been genetically modified to have a human immune system. The antibodies being tested to fight COVID-19 are the same as if they had been produced in a human. The two antibodies bind to a protein that the virus uses to attack human cells and block it.
Meanwhile Another Hudson Valley Pharmaceutical Firm Predicts an October Launch for Its Vaccine
Head of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, said that his company believes they will have a COVID-19 vaccine ready by the end of October, according to the Associated French Press (AFP).
The company is currently in the clinical trial stage of development, developing their vaccine alongside Germany’s BioNtech. The companies, whose project relies on messenger RNA technology never before used in an approved vaccine, dosed the first humans in Germany earlier in May, and hope to begin a US trial soon, pending regulators’ blessing.
Moderna’s Vaccine Starts Human Trial In July
Moderna told Bloomberg on Thursday that it’s on pace to begin the final-stage clinical trial of its vaccine for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 by July. Moderna was the first company to begin human clinical trials of its vaccine candidate in the U.S., and the last stage of its study will include 30,000 people and be conducted in partnership with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The aim of the study will be to show definitive clinical proof that Moderna’s vaccine actually does prevent people from developing COVID-19, and, secondarily, that it prevents at least severe symptoms and cases that require hospitalization from materializing.
Global Economic Report: World Bank Says Global GDP Will Fall 5.2% in 2020, but Rebound by 4.2% in 2021
The World Bank forecasts a decline of 5.2% in real global GDP in 2020, following 2.4% growth in 2019. It would be the worst decrease in worldwide growth since the aftermath of World War II, with global economies sharply pulling back on activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. With that said, the global economy should rebound in 2021, with worldwide growth jumping 4.2%.
Chinese Manufacturing Activity Expanded at the Fastest Pace Since January
The expansion is a sign that its economy continues to stabilize. In April, industrial production grew 3.9% year-over-year, the first positive reading so far this year and a definite improvement from the 13.5% and 1.1% declines seen in January/February and March, respectively. At the same time, fixed-asset investment and retail sales declined at slower rates in April, but continued to be negative.
China was the only one of the top 10 markets for U.S.-manufactured goods to expand in May, returning to positive territory after pulling lower in April. In the previous month, most of the top 10 markets had contracted at paces that were either the worst since the Great Recession or at record lows. In May, seven of these economies saw improvements, albeit at rates of decline that remained quite severe.