Oil prices hit a 3-month high yesterday on positive vaccine news. Energy prices were higher in early trading today, with the WTI up 1% at $43.50/bbl, Brent up 1% at $46.51/bbl and natural gas 1.6% higher at $2.76/MMBtu.
Demand for oil is rebounding faster in Asia than Western countries, evidenced by a disparity in prices between pricier Dubai crude, mainly bought by Asian refiners, and lower-cost West Texas Intermediate.
Houthi rebels launched a cruise missile attack on an Aramco oil storage facility that comprises 10% of the company’s stored oil, causing extensive damage but no injuries.
With the amount of oil in floating storage falling significantly, tanker owners are seeing falling rates along with prospects of a weak winter season.
Greater Los Angeles, the country’s most infected metropolitan area, is again imposing measures to limit businesses and movement after a 4,000-case threshold was met. The governor of California is in quarantine after three of his children were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Regeneron will begin shipping 30,000 doses of its antibody drug treatment today after receiving emergency approval from U.S. regulators.
Up to 80% of newly infected people lose their sense of smell, a phenomenon known as “anosmia” that offers clues into how the coronavirus affects the brain.
Though their initial symptoms may be less severe, young people are seeing a disproportionately high level of “long-haul” effects from COVID-19, where symptoms last months or longer.
U.S. business activity in November grew at the fastest pace since 2015, with the composite purchasing managers index rising from 56.3 in October to 57.9 this month, well above the reading of 50 indicating growth.
Spending on goods has bolstered the economy against weak spending in the services sectors:
With federal eviction moratoriums set to expire at year end, nearly 18 million households are behind on their rent or mortgage payments, according to a U.S. Census Bureau Survey, with a third of those expecting to be evicted in coming months.
Consumers continued spending on home improvements in the third quarter, with Home Depot reporting a 24.6% jump in same-store sales from a year ago and sales for Lowe’s rising 30%. Digital sales for both retailers nearly doubled year-over-year.
France reported fewer than 5,000 new COVID-19 infections Monday, the lowest count since the end of September and an indication that the country’s second national lockdown is working.
Italy is the second European country behind the U.K. and the sixth global country to pass 50,000 fatalities from COVID-19.
Real-world use of plug-in hybrid vehicles could cause significantly more CO2 emissions than advertised, a Brussels advocacy group warns.
While global emissions of greenhouse gases in 2020 are projected to fall up to 7.5% due to pandemic-induced industrial slowdowns, climate experts warn the reduction will be a mere “blip” downward in an overall trend upward.
Our latest Founders Series video is a tribute to Joan Holland, co-founder and matriarch of M. Holland, who recently passed away. Watch the video here.
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