COVID-19 UPDATE. NY state cases keep dropping (-56% from the peak 16 days ago). 7 states on track to open in 2 weeks (20% of US GDP).
COVID-19 remains a global crisis and we realize that many people need to keep up with COVID-19 developments, particularly since we are moving into the more critical stage ("restart economy"), so feel free to share our commentary to anyone who has interest.
If we ever needed a reminder for the extent of the abrupt decline in global economic activity, it is the fact that WTI oil futures saw a negative price today. Think about that. Holders of WTI contracts were pricing in a negative value, because nobody wants to take physical delivery. Of course, oil is not negatively priced in totality as Brent crude is still ~$25/barrel and WTI June oil is $20-ish.
But oil is a residual issue of the broader global "stay at home" and this situation will not change until Western nations and US states begin opening up. And they cannot open up until each jurisdiction feels they have a handle on the healthcare crisis (wave 1) and outlined plans to safely re-start.
In this note, we highlight the 7 US states announcing plans to open the economy in the next 2 weeks, representing 20% of US GDP. And we look at the 3 nations in Europe announcing plans to re-open, including the largest nation, Germany.
POINT #1: NY state case count plunging, latest is 4,726 down -56% from 4/4/2020 peak of 10,841
NY state remains the front end of the COVID-19 crisis in the US, and because ~33% of all cases originate from NY state, seeing improvements in this state is really the leading indicator for the rest of the country. The trend of falling net new cases continues. The daily reported new cases was 4,726, down 56% from the 4/4/2020 peak of 10,841.
- NY state is clearly on the other side of the apex. Governor Cuomo reiterated the "stay at home" orders remain in effect until mid-May.
- But at this rate, NY state could easily meet the gating criteria before the end of the month for a Phase I opening (per White House).
As discussed in the next section, 6 states have already announced plans to phased openings of their economy.
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