Displaying items by tag: US
In a week that saw American COVID cases surge and claim one quarter of all the world’s 10m cases, the US health secretary said that the US may not be able to contain the virus. The US has recently seen a huge jump in cases, with only two states showing a weekly decline in cases. This has led to speculation that the virus may be completely uncontained in the country. Health secretary Alex Azar appeared to acknowledge this, and when discussing containing the virus, he said “The window is closing…”, and that the southern US was seeing the worst of the flare up.
FINSUM: All the hopes that warm weather would hurt the virus have been proven wrong—the hottest places in the country are having the worst outbreaks! How does one price the odds of another economic decline because of this surge?
Speaking from the White House, President Trump issued a grave warning yesterday. Alongside Dr. Fauci, the team said that they expected between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the US from Coronavirus. The announcement took the media world by storm and appears to have also impacted markets, as futures have been down considerably since the speech. The president’s tone was a marked departure from his previous outlook, with Trump saying Americans needed to prepare for a “very, very painful two weeks”.
FINSUM: Those are big shocking numbers, and the grimness of Trump’s tone added even more gravity to the situation.
US Real estate has been a worry spot for the last few years. For the last three years or so everyone thought real estate might be the initial signal that the economy was headed lower. However, that never materialized and real estate has been looking modestly better for the last several months. The end of 2019 continued that streak as existing home sales rose 3.6% in December as low unemployment helped support the housing market.
FINSUM: We think the housing market is just solid and steady right now. No huge speculative gains, no gigantic increases in debt etc. It is a nice contrast to publicly-traded securities!
It has been more than 18 months of brinksmanship in the making, but the US and China are apparently set to seal a phase one trade deal. The deal will be signed at 11:30 am in the White House. The deal leaves out a lot of the most difficult and contentious issues between the countries, but is a sign that things are improving. The FT summarizes the substance of the deal this way, saying “It commits China to making $200bn in additional purchases of US goods, including farm products, and other pledges on currency and intellectual property, in exchange for a small rollback in some tariffs and an indefinite hold on further punitive measures out of Washington”.
FINSUM: The key thing here is that both countries want this work out and this deal is a step in the right direction. We find this quite positive in the grand scheme of things.
Hedge fund icon Ray Dalio delivered a grim speech yesterday at a gala dinner for the National Committee on US-China Relations. The investor is worried about war in all it forms. He said that “There is a trade war, there is a technology war, there is a geopolitical war, and there could be a capital war”. Famed former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger also spoke at the event and told both sides that they must avoid a shooting war at all costs, as no side can win.
FINSUM: Everyone on both sides will hopefully be somewhat relieved if a “phase one” trade deal can be reached.