COVID-19 UPDATE: NYC cases COLLAPSE to 1,188, down 84% from the peak.  Grom survey shows 44% willing to go to the restaurant w/o vaccine.

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.

Ever so incrementally, the US economy is opening up.  By our tally, 24 states representing ~54% of GDP (see table from yesterday).  But opening the economy is not what matters.  The 'biggie' three questions are:

- The contour of the recovery -- will consumers be resilient?
- Pace COVID-19 recedes and healthcare solutions develop;
- Financial conditions, funding business during next 2-3 quarters and access to capital (will sports teams IPO?)

This adds up to uncertainty.  And we do not have the answers and nobody can really know the future.  But the data, evidence and analysis our team has done, led by tireless Ken, shows the potential for a strong recovery.  In fact, one that could track above consensus.  And as such, we have tended to view the "strength" in equities as potentially suggesting this path.

We got some very good news on NYC today.  The daily case count came in 1,188, a massive downside break to the downside and now 84% from the 4/9/2020 highs of 7,520.  NYC and NY state now look well into the recovery phase of COVID-19.  In fact, NJ is now the #1 state in reported daily cases, overtaking NY for the first time.

Chuck Grom, a well known and respected broadlines/hardlines analyst at Gordon Haskett, published his COVID-19 household survey (4th one).  The most surprising takeaway, for us, is that ~40% households are willing to go to a restaurant/mall without a vaccine.  That is huge number.  As our wallet breakdown shows, both are top 10 "uses" of a consume wallet --> restaurants #7 and apparel/malls #10.  In other words, the survey is showing consumers might be quite willing to re-engage post lockdown.

We also should not ignore the fact oil has surged +$62 per barrel in the past 2 weeks.  Yup.  $62 increase in the price per barrel to $24.50 (it was -$40 two weeks ago).  Fortunes are no doubt being minted by that price move.  But we also think this is signal.  Just like the crash in oil on the evaporation of demand was justified, a $62 surge does follow demand gains.  TSA passenger traffic has 2X in the past 2 weeks.  And oil has never moved this much in 2 weeks.  The closest was $18/barrel during 'Arab Spring' 2011.

POINT #1: NYC sees downside break in daily cases -84% and Kentucky and Nebraska see 4X and 2X rise (too early to worry).

NYC cases fall to 1,188, down 84% from the peak of 7,520 on 4/9/2020 and a downside breakout of the 2,000-range for past 7 days
NYC daily cases collapsed today to 1,188, breaking below the 2,000 range seen for the past 7 days and now down 84% from the peak seen on 4/9/2020 (a month ago) of 7,520.  It looks like NYC is finally past the "apex" and moving rapidly towards healing. 

This positive case development was kind of lost in the DeBlasio press briefing.  NYC Mayor DeBlasio focused on complaining about the need for more federal aid and holding up the cover of the NY Post (below).

- But this is a turning point for NYC. Recall, NYC is the worst hit of any metro area and the city showing the slowest progress.
- Today, the MTA will actually shutdown the subways to sanitize them.

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