Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German biotech partner BioNTech released data Monday morning showing that its vaccine is 90% effective. The effectiveness rate of the Pfizer vaccine is far higher than the 44% effectiveness rate of the flu vaccine and is comparable to the rates seen for Mumps and Chickenpox. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told reporters that the trial will be finished by the end of November and is expected to gain emergency-use approval by the end of this year. Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated that the timeline for mass vaccination is late February/early March and that it may not be broadly available until the end of the second quarter/beginning of the third quarter of next year. The distribution of the vaccine is expected to be complex and expensive, as it has a short shelf life and must be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters that biotech company Moderna’s vaccine might exhibit similar results to Pfizer’s.
New daily coronavirus cases in the United States are surging as 150,530 new cases were reported yesterday and the 7-day average in new cases reached 130,000 which is about 100,000 higher than where it was in September. There are currently about 67,000 patients being treated for coronavirus in U.S hospitals, higher than levels seen in April. Yesterday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a stay-at-home advisory for the city after seeing a record spike in new infections and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that the state is on the verge of new shutdowns as well. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced today that schools will close and move to remote learning once a seven-day positivity rate of 3% is breached, the rate is currently at 2.83%. New daily cases across Europe are beginning to peak and turn lower after local lockdowns have been mandated in most countries.
Markets continued to rally this week. The S&P 500 rose 2.16% and closed at 3,585. The Dow Jones spiked 4.19% and closed at 29,479. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 12.77% and the Dow Jones is up 5.37%.
Yields rose this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.40% and 0.89%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude rose this week. Prices rose 8.19% and closed at $40.18 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -34.20%.
The spot price of Gold fell by -3.24% and closed at $1,888.12 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 24.44%.
Initial jobless claims fell to 709,000 and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 33,000 to 755,000. Claims fell by 15,000 in Georgia, 9,000 in New Jersey, and by 8,000 in Texas. Claims rose by 10,000 in Washington and by 2,000 in Virginia.
The consumer price index (CPI) was flat versus expectations for an increase of 0.1% and the year-over-year rate rose by 1.2% versus expectations for an increase of 1.3%
Core CPI was flat versus expectations for an increase of 0.2% and the year-over-year rate rose by 1.6% versus expectations for an increase of 1.7%
The producer price index (PPI) rose by 0.3% versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%
PPI ex-food and energy rose by 0.1% versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell by 4.8 points to 77.0 in the preliminary report versus expectations for a reading of 82.0
Fact of the Week
Chinese state-owned enterprises represented 25% to 28% of the entire Chinese economy over each of the last 20 years (source:Gavekal Research).