COVID-19 Bulletin: November 11
November 11, 2020 • Posted in COVID-19
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- A larger-than-expected draw from crude inventories last week helped push crude prices to two-month highs yesterday.
- Energy prices were higher in early trading today, with the WTI up 2.8% at $42.52/bbl, Brent up 2.8% at $44.81/bbl, and natural gas 0.1% higher at $2.95/MMBtu.
- BP is stepping up efforts to produce hydrogen using renewable energy, announcing a partnership with Danish power company Ørsted to use energy from a North Sea wind farm.
- Peabody Energy suffered a 29% drop in volume in its latest quarter and is taking several cost-cutting measures as it grapples to renegotiate loan agreements.
- The International Energy Agency said renewed lockdowns in Europe could push down oil demand again, though not as severely as the first round of lockdowns in spring. The agency also reported record levels of new electricity generation from renewable energy sources in 2020.
- Occidental became the first U.S. oil company to announce a net-zero emissions goal, targeting 2040 to achieve the milestone for its operation and consumer use of its products.
- Countries may be forced to invest in greater cold-chain infrastructure to support distribution of Pfizer’s experimental vaccine, which requires two doses, must be stored at -70°C, and goes bad only five days after thawing.
- Full Truck Alliance, a Chinese company that connects businesses with truck drivers in an “Uber-like” service, will go public next year, the latest of dozens of Chinese logistics and electrical vehicle startups to list on public stock markets.
- Autonomous-vehicle delivery startup Nuro raised $500 million in its latest round of funding, one of many new firms looking to commercialize the emerging technology.
- Car sales in China rose 8% in October from a year earlier, the fourth straight month of growth and a sign of the market’s significance for global automakers during the pandemic, when Western markets remain hampered by lockdowns and surging COVID-19 infections.
- Uber’s delivery arm could soon become one of the world’s largest grocers, with the company on track to facilitate more than $1 billion in grocery sales per year.
- With tight freight capacity nationwide and supply constraints with many plastic resins, clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
- New COVID-19 infections in the U.S. soared to a record 136,325 yesterday, while fatalities jumped by 1,415.
- COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record high on Tuesday of 61,964, while the pace of infections accelerated, with more than 1 million confirmed cases in the first 10 days of November, a record.
- Forty-seven states have rising infection trends this week.
- Several states, including Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin, posted record-high one-day case counts Tuesday.
- Several midwestern states and California are tightening restrictions due to the resurgence in cases.
- With more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases, New York recorded its highest daily infections since April.
- The latest wave of U.S. infections has largely affected cities, where dense populations pose a greater risk of virus transmissions.
- Risks of COVID-19 “super spreaders” are greatest at restaurants, gyms and hotels, new research finds.
- The benchmark price for Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be $19.50 per dose, a company executive said Tuesday.
- Citing concerns over the company’s New Jersey facility, the FDA is requiring an outside firm to test batches of Eli Lilly’s experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment that was approved for public use last week.
- The number of U.S. job openings is nearing pre-pandemic levels, an indication of persistent economic recovery despite surging infections.
- The Federal Reserve signaled Monday that while the economy has been rebounding in recent months, COVID-19 remains the largest threat to continued recovery.
- Against a backdrop of record decreases in enrollment, colleges and universities are also losing out on big revenue streams from empty dining halls as more and more students choose to stay off campus.
- Corporate tenants of city offices are subletting spaces at record numbers as more people work from home, leading to an oversupply that threatens to depress office rents.
- Phoenix-based electric-truck startup Nikola reported wide losses in the third quarter, among broader questions about its business practices and the readiness of its technology.
- Carnival cruise lines and American Airlines, two emblematic victims of the pandemic’s effect on world travel, are selling stock in an attempt to raise money while optimism about a vaccine spreads.
- AMC will start offering private movie theater rentals after a four-week trial period drew more than 110,000 inquiries around the country.
- Retailer Ulta Beauty will open shops inside more than 100 Target stores starting next year, as the beauty company seeks innovative ways to reach consumers.
- Third-quarter revenue for ride-sharing app Lyft dropped almost 50% compared to the same time last year on a 44% decrease in ridership.
- The Masters golf tournament, usually held in April, begins on Thursday. Botanists and golfers alike are wondering what effects the seasonal difference will have.
- “Lockdown” is the word of the year in the Collins English Dictionary.
- Europe’s death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 300,000 on Tuesday, the highest for any region in the world.
- Hungary will make mask wearing mandatory in public spaces.
- The U.K. is turning away non-resident freight drivers if they have traveled in the last 14 days through Denmark, where a mutated coronavirus strain was found in the commercial mink population.
- The small island nation of Vanuatu, one of the only countries in the world to so far avoid the pandemic, confirmed its first case Tuesday after a citizen flew back from the U.S.
- Governments across the world have been piling on record amounts of debt to prop up economies affected by COVID-19, prompting many to shift perspectives on borrowing limits and debt-to-GDP ratios.
- European Union member states are close to approving almost a trillion dollars in relief funds to combat a potential double-dip recession, with funds expected to be distributed early next year.
- Japan’s government has loaned more than $250 billion to small- and medium-sized businesses in less than six months, dwarfing amounts of similar programs in larger countries as a proportion of the economy.
- The middle class in India is cutting household staffing to avoid COVID-19 infection risk, creating a buying boom for home appliances while exacerbating the jobs crisis for lower income workers.
- While the national bank is keeping rates near zero, British mortgage lenders are raising rates due to rising demand from homebuyers and risk of lending during a pandemic.
- Ford is hiring more workers at a Mexican factory that will produce an electric version of the F-150 pickup along with a plug-in model of battery-powered Mustangs.
- The U.K. has become the first country to make companies report the financial impacts of climate change on their businesses. The mandate will take effect within the next five years and apply to most of the country’s industries.
- Singapore is starting an air travel “bubble” with Hong Kong, where certain travelers will be able to move back and forth between the countries without quarantining.
- Craig Shell from our Wire & Cable team delivered a product presentation on cable tapes and gels at the recent the IWCS International Cable & Connectivity Symposium. Click here to access this talk.
- Greg Watkins, senior manager of talent acquisition and development at M. Holland, spoke at the recent MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference on recruiting the next generation of talent in a post-pandemic world. Click here to view this presentation.
- Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets. To arrange a videoconference or meeting with any of our Market Managers, please visit our website.
- To access 3D Printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our online resource.
We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.