U.S. and World News
- The Sun Belt region of the United States continues to battle a high number of daily new cases of COVID-19, contributing largely to the country’s third straight day of over 1,000 deaths. The approximate daily currently hospitalized figure of about 60,000 has now reached levels last seen in late April. The state of Florida, particularly the Miami-Dade area, remains the most severely affected, with a 19.2% positivity rate versus the state positivity rate of 13.3%. President Trump announced yesterday that the Republican convention scheduled to be held in Jacksonville Florida next month will be canceled, citing the coronavirus “flare up”. During a House committee hearing this week, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck all pointed out their plans to have a vaccine by 2021, with AstraZeneca stating that they would have an emergency based vaccine available by the end of this year.
- On Tuesday night in Houston, police and fire fighters responded to a reported fire at the Chinese Consulate which was eventually discovered to be the result of barrels filled with burning documents. The Trump administration quickly responded by closing the consulate and ordering Chinese personnel to leave within 72 hours, angering China who is now accusing the United States of breaking down the “friendship bridge” that bands together the two countries. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech yesterday, in which he called for engagement and empowerment of Chinese people, attempting to rally the people against the Communist Party of China. In fulfilling their promised retaliation, China announced Friday morning that it would close the American consulate in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichaun Province. The statement from the White House this morning states that China should “cease these malign actions rather than engage in tit-for-tat retaliation.”
- Markets declined slightly this week. The S&P 500 fell -0.27% and closed at 3,216. The Dow Jones lost -0.74% and closed at 26,470. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 0.61% and the Dow Jones is down -6.00%.
- Interests rates fell slightly again. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.27% and 0.58%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude oil rose this week. Prices rose 1.15% and closed at $41.22 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -32.49%.
- The spot price of Gold rose 5.05% and closed at $1,901.80 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 25.34%.
- Initial jobless claims rose by 109,000 to 1.4 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 17,000 to 1.36 million. Claims fell by 13,000 in Florida, 9,000 in Texas, and by 6,000 in Indiana. Claims rose by 45,000 in New York, 16,000 in Virginia, and by 11,000 in Tennessee.
- Existing home sales rose 20.7% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized-rate of 4.72 million units versus expectations for an increase of 21.4%. Sales were led by the West and South regions.
- The FHFA house price index fell by -0.3% versus expectations for an increase of 0.3%
- Sales of new single-family homes rose by 13.8% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized-rate of 776,000 units versus expectations for 700,000 units.
Fact of the Week
- 57% of colleges anticipate they will offer “in-person” class instruction for the upcoming 2020-21 school year, just 9% will offer only online class instruction, while 29% of schools will provide a combination of “in-person” and online class instruction. The remaining 5% of schools have yet to decide as of Friday 7/10/20 (source: Chronicle of Higher Education).
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