Connect with us

Economics

The Automobile Industry

The United States has experienced a rapid acceleration of inflation recently. This article examines the automobile industry, a sector experiencing higher…

Published

on

The United States has experienced a rapid acceleration of consumer price inflation since early 2021 despite initial assurances from the Federal Reserve and politicians that price increases would be “transitory”. Official annualized inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased from 1.4% in December 2020 to 5.4% in June 2021. Far from being “transitory”, the CPI-U then soared to 7% in December 2021 and 9.1% in June 2022. 

Of course, individual components of the CPI-U tend to move around much more than the overall measure. This has been most evident for components that are directly influenced by commodity prices with energy costs being the most obvious example. However, volatility has not been restricted to commodities. The price of new and used vehicles have both increased at a rapid clip over the past year. 

The chart below shows the trailing twelve month rate of inflation for the CPI-U along with new and used vehicles:

My first car was a 1965 Ford Mustang that was nearly a quarter-century old by the time I was lucky enough to own it. One obvious thing about the car was its complete lack of modern technology. I could perform basic maintenance, such as oil changes, replacing spark plugs, rebuilding the carburetor, and much more without resorting to the use of any technology more advanced than a repair manual printed on paper.

1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe, 289 cubic inch A Code V8 Engine

Nostalgia has its place, but you cannot stop progress. The world has changed, and modern vehicles are essentially rolling computer systems heavily laden with advanced technology. Highly trained technicians are needed to perform most maintenance procedures. Supply chains for automobiles have become increasingly intricate and fragile and “just-in-time” inventory systems leave little margin for error. Assembly lines can be brought to a halt when key components suddenly become unavailable. 

At the start of the pandemic, automakers closed plants in order to comply with mandates to shut down production in order to protect employees. Potential customers were unable to visit dealerships and the industry braced for a downturn of indeterminate length. The actions taken by automakers at the start of the pandemic rippled down the supply chain and caused companies supplying key components to also curtail or redirect production. These actions, while necessary at the time, turned out to not be easily reversible when the economy started to gradually open up.

Modern automobiles use hundreds of microchips. When auto production came to a halt in early 2020 and only slowly ramped back up, the industry reduced orders for microchips. However, customer demand for electronics continued through the pandemic and by the time automakers were ready to ramp up production, microchips were in short supply. Although conditions in microchip supplies have been easing recently, this has not entirely alleviated production problems for automakers. 

When consumer demand increases and supplies are tight, the predictable result is a rise in prices, and this is exactly what has happened for new cars. The average price paid for a new vehicle exceeded $48,000 in June 2022 for the first time. As a point of comparison, two years ago, the average price of a new vehicle was $38,530. To make matters worse, interest rates for auto loans have been rising. The average monthly payment on a new car loan was $686 in June 2022 and 12.7% of new car buyers have signed up for monthly payments over $1,000.

With new cars in short supply, used cars began to experience rapid inflation starting in September 2020. This inflation was more extreme than for new cars. In June, I published a profile of America’s Car-Mart which included the following chart showing the average sales price of Car-Mart vehicles over time:

Source: America’s Car-Mart — SEC Filings

America’s Car-Mart offers vehicles at the low end of the used market. Most vehicles are between five and twelve years old and have between 70,000 to 150,000 miles. 

CarMax is a the largest used-car dealership in the United States and offers vehicles that are generally newer and have lower mileage compared to America’s Car-Mart. The following graph shows the average sales price of CarMax vehicles over time:

Source: CarMax — SEC Filings

The rapid rise in used car prices has resulted in strange situations such as cars actually appreciating in value. In some cases, people who purchased vehicles several years ago have been able to sell at a profit, something that is normally unheard of. Recovery rates realized by dealers who must repossess vehicles have also increased, leading to more aggressive repossessions. In normal times, dealers avoid repossession since it usually results in significant losses. 

It is interesting to research sectors of the economy in turmoil and the automobile industry is no exception. In addition to the profile of America’s Car-Mart published in June, I have been researching CarMax more recently for a profile that will be published next week. Rather than include background information on the automobile industry in the CarMax write-up, I decided to put together this article to bring together some of the trends and sources that I’ve found. 

The information in this article might be useful to those who are interested in further study of the auto industry. I have simply included a number of statistics that I find interesting. There is no overall theme to this article other than to highlight selected statistics and trends along with data source links for further study. I have created many of the charts based on underlying data sets while other charts are used directly. The exhibit captions contain links to the underlying source.


Interesting Statistics and Trends

The automobile market is an important component of gross domestic product. GDP figures include the value of new motor vehicles and parts. The used market is not included in GDP figures. In the second quarter of 2020, new motor vehicles and parts were running at $734.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. This was slightly under 3% of GDP for the second quarter. The following chart shows the share of motor vehicle output as a percentage of GDP over several decades:

Source: Deloitte

According to a recent Deloitte report, the downward trend in the importance of domestic automobile production has to do with an increasing share of imports as well as higher growth in other sectors of the economy. We can see from the chart that automobile production is also highly cyclical, as we would expect. The sharp decline and subsequent rebound experienced during the pandemic was exaggerated and compressed, but not atypical compared to prior economic downturns.

The exhibit below shows the total number of motor vehicles registered in the United States since 1990. As of 2020, there were just under 276 million registered vehicles, of which 253.1 million were light duty vehicles and 8.3 million were motorcycles. The balance was comprised of heavy duty trucks and buses. We can see that total number of registered vehicles has increased slowly over the past decade.

It is important to understand that government statistics consider many ordinary passenger vehicles to be light-duty trucks. Along with pickup trucks, most minivans and sport utility vehicles are considered to be light-duty trucks, not automobiles. The automobile category is comprised of what we would identify as cars — sedans, coupes, and convertibles. There has been a multi-decade shift in consumer preferences from automobiles to light-duty trucks. The exhibit below shows the composition of registered vehicles in the United States in 2020.

How much are Americans using their vehicles? As we might expect, total vehicle miles traveled does not normally change that much from year to year. However, the pandemic caused a major reduction in travel which was reflected in a historic plunge in vehicle miles traveled in early 2020:

Source: St. Louis Fed

This plunge was quickly reversed as the economy reopened and we are now essentially back to normal in terms of vehicle usage. As an aside, public transit ridership never recovered from the pandemic. Public transit ridership in May 2022 was down 40.8% from its level in May 2019. It appears that people have returned to their cars, but not necessarily for the purpose of commuting, which is the primary use of public transit. 

Over time, the durability of automobiles has increased, and this has been reflected in a rising average age of light vehicles in operation, as shown in the exhibit below:

Given the relatively slow growth in registered vehicles and miles traveled, it stands to reason that an increasing age of the light-vehicle fleet would reduce the number of new vehicles required annually. The increasing average age of vehicles also has implications for the used vehicle market. As vehicles last longer, resale value is likely to hold up somewhat better over time. The used car buyer looking at a typical seven year old car today could reasonably expect it to last another five to seven years. Two decades ago, a seven year old car was quickly approaching the end of its expected life.

The exhibit below shows light vehicle sales in the United States since 1976. What is perhaps surprising is the amount of time that was required to recover from the decline during the financial crisis and recession of 2008-09. Aside from a brief spike that I believe was due to the “cash for clunkers” program, it took several years for auto sales to recover to the 15-18 million unit range that prevailed prior to the crisis.

Source: St. Louis Fed

As noted previously, the average age of a light vehicles in the United States has increased significantly, something we can deduce from total registered vehicles rising slowly over time even as new vehicle sales experienced a prolonged downturn during the first half of the 2010s. 

As noted earlier, market preferences have shifted from passenger vehicles to light trucks in recent years. The following chart is similar to the one above except it breaks down total light vehicle sales between passenger vehicles and light trucks.1

Now that we have looked at some of the high level trends in terms of the size of the vehicle fleet and annual sales, let’s take a look at new and used auto prices. There are multiple sources of auto price data, some of which is behind paywalls. However, I have found publicly available pricing data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics which gives us a sense of how new and used auto prices have trended in nominal dollars over long periods of time.

The following chart shows the average price of a new vehicle from 2010 to 2021. While the underlying data set includes figures prior to 2010, they are not directly comparable to more recent data due to a change in the data source.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics dataset does not include used car prices after 2019, so it is of limited utility for our purposes. However, we do have the charts for America’s Car-Mart and CarMax presented earlier showing recent trends in used car prices at the low-end and mainstream segments of the used car market.

In nominal terms, both new and used car prices have increased significantly over the years. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, quality improvements in automobiles supposedly accounted for the entirety of the price increases until the recent post-pandemic spike. The following charts show a very long view of the CPI for new and used vehicles since the mid 1950s.

New Vehicles

Source: St. Louis Fed

Used Vehicles

Source: St. Louis Fed

If you are skeptical that quality improvements account for nearly all of the nominal increases in new and used vehicles from the mid-1990s until just prior to the pandemic, you are not alone. However, it is true that vehicles have improved a great deal over that quarter-century span. The increasing average age of vehicles on the road demonstrates that durability has increased, and it is true that current cars have more electronics and safety enhancements compared to the vehicles of the mid-1990s.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a webpage explaining how it adjusts the CPI for vehicle improvements. Another document, Guidelines for Quality Adjustment of New Vehicle Pricesgoes into even more detail. Ultimately, how to account for quality improvements is a judgment call. 

In addition to the 1965 Ford Mustang, over the years I have owned a 1987 Plymouth, a 2001 Ford F350, a 2003 Toyota Camry, and a 2008 Ford Mustang. While the 1965 Mustang and 1987 Plymouth were very primitive by modern standards, the vehicles of the 2000s had many of the same conveniences we take for granted today, with the exception of navigation systems and integration with mobile devices. 

While the extent of quality adjustments over the past quarter century is debatable, it is clear that we have seen significant inflation since the pandemic that cannot be explained by changes in quality, and the official CPI figures reflect this reality.


Conclusion

It is difficult to study individual companies within an industry without first looking at the industry as a whole. This is definitely the case when it comes to the automobile industry in the United States. We are fortunate to have a wealth of statistics that are publicly available, although it takes quite a bit of digging to uncover the desired data.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has heavily impacted the market for both new and used vehicles. As the supply of new vehicles was constrained due to persistent supply chain problems, buyers turned to the used car market. Heavy demand for used cars caused significant price inflation that far exceeded inflation for new vehicles. As supply chain conditions ease, new vehicle production should increase in the coming months. The impact on new and used car pricing remains to be seen.

Hopefully this article has been helpful to those with an interest in the automobile market. Next week, I will publish a profile of CarMax, the largest used car dealership in the United States. If you would like to receive that profile, as well as to gain access to all previous business profiles, please consider signing up for a paid subscription.


Copyright, Disclosures, and Privacy Information

Nothing in this newsletter constitutes investment advice and all content is subject to the copyright and disclaimer policy of The Rational Walk LLC.  

Your privacy is taken very seriously. No email addresses or any other subscriber information is ever sold or provided to third parties. If you choose to unsubscribe at any time, you will no longer receive any further communications of any kind.

The Rational Walk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


  1. Note that the Bureau of Transportation Statistics dataset is annual while the St. Louis Fed’s dataset is monthly and shows data on an annualized basis.

Read More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spread & Containment

Stocks for a recession: which companies have historically done well during recessions or are likely to this time?

Last week the Bank of England forecast a recession starting this autumn that it now expects to be deeper and longer than previously assumed. It also expects…

Published

on

Last week the Bank of England forecast a recession starting this autumn that it now expects to be deeper and longer than previously assumed. It also expects inflation to hit 13% by the end of the year just months after reassuring that it didn’t expect more than modestly high figures.

Having belatedly acknowledged the extent of the inflation problem, admittedly exacerbated by the impact on energy and food prices the war in Ukraine has had, the UK’s central bank’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee voted to raise interest rates. Thursday’s 0.5 percentage points rise, which took the BoE’s base rate to 1.75%, was the biggest single increase in 27 years.

The European Central Bank and USA’s Federal Reserve have also taken aggressive measures on rates, with the former also raising rates by 0.5% to 0%. It was the ECB’s first rates rise in 11 years. The Fed went even further, raising rates for the fourth and largest time this year with a 0.75 percentage points hike to between 2.25% and 2.5%.

Aggressive interest rate hikes alongside high levels of inflation tend to result in recession with the combination referred to as stagflation. With inflation expected to remain high next year and not dropping back towards the target 2% before 2023, we could be in for an extended period of recession.

Why stock markets fall during a recession but not all stocks do

Stock markets historically do badly during recessions for the simple reason they are a proxy for the economy and economic activity. When economic activity drops, people and companies have less money or are worried about having less money, so they spend less and companies earn less. Investors also become less optimistic about their prospects and valuations drop.

But the kind of drop in economic activity that leads to recessions is not evenly distributed across all areas of an economy. When consumers cut back on spending, they typically choose to sacrifice some things and not others, rather than applying an even haircut across all costs. And there are goods and services that people spend more on rather than less when tightening their belts.

So while the net impact of a recession has always historically been the London Stock Exchange and other major international stock markets losing market capitalisation, or value, that doesn’t mean all the stocks that constitute them go down. Some go down by more than others. And some stocks grow in value because the companies sell the categories of goods and services people spend more on when they are either poorer or worried about becoming poorer.

Should we be investing “for” a recession?

This surely means all investors need to do to mitigate against a recession is to sell out of the stocks that do badly during an economic slump and buy into those that do well? In theory, yes. In practice, doing that successfully would mean being sure a recession will take place some time before it becomes a reality and timing its onset, then the subsequent recovery, well.

That is of course far easier said than done which is why even professional fund managers don’t attempt the kind of comprehensive portfolio flip that would involve. Some investors will make big bets on events like the onset of a recession or inflation spiralling out of control.

They are the kind of bets that make for dramatic wins like those portrayed in the Hollywood film The Big Crash, which tells the story of a group of traders who predicted and bet big on the 2007 subprime mortgage implosion that triggered the international financial crisis. But as the film relies on for its dramatic tension, the big winners of The Big Crash very nearly got their timing wrong. Another few days and they would have been forced to close their positions just before market conditions turned in their favour and lost everything.

The reality is the big, risky bets that result in spectacular investment wins when they come off are usually far more likely to go wrong than right. Which is why regular investors, rather than high risk traders using leverage, shouldn’t take them. At least not with their main investment portfolio if they don’t have the luxury of being able to justify setting aside 10% to 20% of capital for highr isk-high reward bets.

If you have a well-balanced investment portfolio with a long term horizon and you are happy with the overall quality of your investments, you may choose to do nothing at all to mitigate against the recession that is almost certainly coming. If you have ten years or more until you expect to start drawing down an income from your portfolio, your investments should have plenty of time to recover from this period.

But if you do want to rebalance because you feel your portfolio is generally too heavily weighted towards the kind of growth stocks particularly vulnerable to inflation, higher interest rates and recession, you might want to consider rotating some of your capital into the kind of stocks that might do well in a recession.

How to pick stocks that will do well in a recession?

There are two ways to highlight stocks that might do well in a recession. The first is the most obvious and simplest approach – look at which did well in previous recessions. We had a very brief recession at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and a much more significant one in 2008/09 in the wake of the international financial crisis. Which companies did well over those periods?

The second approach is to add a layer of complexity into the equation and consider how and why the coming recession might differ from the two most recent historical examples. The 2020 recession was extremely unusual in its brevity. Within a couple of months, stock markets were soaring again as people under quarantine and social distancing restrictions spent more in the digital economy and generally on services and products to enhance their experience being couped up at home.

The 2008/09 recession was also different because it was caused by a systemic failure in the financial sector. Unemployment leapt which is not expected to happen this time around with an especially tight labour market one result of the combination of the pandemic and Brexit. Many households also have higher levels of savings built up during the pandemic which a significant number of analysts believe is softening the impact of inflation.

While there are likely to be constants throughout recessions, there are also differences that should be taken into account. Normally energy companies do badly during a recession as lower economic activity means less energy being used. But energy companies are currently posting record profits because of sky-high energy prices which are one of the major factors behind the expected recession. They should continue to do well while the recession lasts as energy prices dropping again is likely to be one of the catalysts behind the recovery.

The online trading company eToro recently published two baskets of “recession winning stocks” – one made up of Wall Street-listed companies and the other companies listed in the UK. The stocks in each basket were selected because they were the biggest gainers during the last two recessions. Interestingly, they also did well during the intervening period between 2009 and 2020, as well as in the aftermath of the coronavirus crash.

The portfolio of US stocks beat the S&P 500 index of large American businesses by 60 percentage points through the financial crisis between 2007 and 2009 and by 9 percentage points during the Covid crisis in 2020.

The portfolio of UK stocks beat FTSE-100 by 35 percentage points during the financial crisis and by 17 percentage points in the Covid crash. Since 2007, the US portfolio has gained 834%, more than twice the return of the Nasdaq and about five times that of the S&P 500. The UK portfolio’s 129% return is eight times more than the FTSE 100’s, excluding dividends.

eToro says:

“Well represented segments included discount and everyday-low-price retailers as consumers trade down, like Walmart (WMT), Ross Stores (ROST) and Dollar Tree (DLTR).”

“Fast food McDonalds (MCD) is related. Similarly, home DIY, like Home Depot (HD) Lowe’s (LOWE), and auto repair parts stocks Autozone (AZO) and O’Reilly (ORLY). Health care and big biotech is well-represented as inelastic non-discretionary purchases, like Abbott (ABT), Amgen (AMGN), Vertex (VRTX).”

“Also, domestic comforts from toys (Hasbro, HAS) to candy (Hershey, HSY), and getting more from your money and tax (H&R Block, HRB), and educating yourself (2U, TWOU).”

The UK portfolio included the drug makers AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, which did well because spending money on healthcare and medicines is essential and families don’t tend to cut back even when struggling financially.

The cigarette makers British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands also don’t usually see any downturn in demand because they benefit from a customer base addicted to their products. Both companies pay high and rising dividends. Consumer goods firms such as Unilever and Premier Foods also typically do well because they own strong brands that people bought even after price rises have been passed on.

Proactive Investor also picks out a range of London-listed stocks it expects to do well over the next year or so. In the energy sector that is doing so well at the moment it highlights Harbour Energy as a “core sector stock” and Diversified Energy Company as having “one of the lowest-risk free cash flow profiles in the sector”, while Energean (a client) provides “excellent visibility on multi-decade cash flows”.

Another difference to recent recessions could be how miners do during the one expected from autumn. Normally lower economic activity reduces for demand for commodities but the sector is also facing supply constraints that should see prices supported or rebound quickly.

Copper, mineral sands and diamonds look among the commodities most constrained in terms of supply, with limited supply growth under development. Mining and commodity stocks to look at are suggested as:

“Atalaya Mining (AIM:ATYM, TSX:AYM), Central Asia Metals, Kenmare Resources, Petra Diamonds and Antofagasta, with Tharisa PLC (LSE:THS, JSE:THA) tagged on as platinum group output to be in focus as automotive sales recover.”

“Gold stocks are seen as outperforming the market during the pullback phase, as in March 2020 and in the initial stages of a rebound, with top picks currently Pan African Resources PLC (AIM:PAF, OTCQX:PAFRY, JSE:PAN, OTCQX:PAFRF), Pure Gold Mining Inc (TSX-V:PGM, LSE:PUR, OTC:LRTNF), Wheaton Precious Metals and Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI, LSE:AUY).”

Credit Suisse has also picked out stocks that have historically outperformed during recessions, highlighting:

“London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSE:LSEG), RELX PLC (LSE:REL), Experian (LSE:EXPN) PLC, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V).”

Don’t panic

While there is nothing wrong with doing some periodic portfolio rebalancing and potentially rotating more assets into stocks seen as likely to thrive in a recession, don’t panic. Recessions have always come and gone as part of the economic cycle and stock markets traditionally go on to greater heights during the subsequent recovery.

That means the chances are your portfolio will regain its losses and add new gains over the years ahead. Buying cheap growth stocks seen as likely candidates to flourish again during the recovery could be seen as just as sensible a tactic as rotating into recession-proof stocks. But if you do decide to reposition to some extent, look for stocks that have not only historically done well during recessions, or could be expected to during this one ahead, but are also healthy companies you would expect to keep doing well when markets recover. Then your success won’t come down to the fickle fate of whether or not you get your timing right.

The post Stocks for a recession: which companies have historically done well during recessions or are likely to this time? first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Fatigue, headache among top lingering symptoms months after COVID

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Aug. 8, 2022) – Fatigue and headache were the most common symptoms reported by individuals an average of more than four months out from…

Published

on

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Aug. 8, 2022) – Fatigue and headache were the most common symptoms reported by individuals an average of more than four months out from having COVID-19, investigators report.

Credit: Augusta University

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Aug. 8, 2022) – Fatigue and headache were the most common symptoms reported by individuals an average of more than four months out from having COVID-19, investigators report.

Muscle aches, cough, changes in smell and taste, fever, chills and nasal congestion were next in the long line of lingering symptoms.

“Our results support the growing evidence that there are chronic neuropsychiatric symptoms following COVID-19 infections,” Medical College of Georgia investigators write in the journal ScienceDirect

“There are a lot of symptoms that we did not know early on in the pandemic what to make of them, but now it’s clear there is a long COVID syndrome and that a lot of people are affected,” says Dr. Elizabeth Rutkowski, MCG neurologist and the study’s corresponding author.

The published study reports on preliminary findings from the first visit of the first 200 patients enrolled in the COVID-19 Neurological and Molecular Prospective Cohort Study in Georgia, or CONGA, who were recruited on average about 125 days after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.

CONGA was established at MCG early in the pandemic in 2020 to examine the severity and longevity of neurological problems and began enrolling participants in March 2020 with the ultimate goal of recruiting 500 over five years.

Eighty percent of the first 200 participants reported neurological symptoms with fatigue, the most common symptom, reported by 68.5%, and headache close behind at 66.5%. Just over half reported changes in smell (54.5%) and taste (54%) and nearly half the participants (47%) met the criteria for mild cognitive impairment, with 30% demonstrating impaired vocabulary and 32% having impaired working memory.

Twenty-one percent reported confusion, and hypertension was the most common medical condition reported by participants in addition to their bout with COVID-19.

No participants reported having a stroke, weakness or inability to control muscles involved with speaking, and coordination problems were some of the less frequently reported symptoms.

Twenty-five percent met the criteria for depression, and diabetes, obesity, sleep apnea and a history of depression were associated with those who met the criteria. Anemia and a history of depression were associated with the 18% who met the objective criteria for anxiety.

While the findings to date are not surprising and are consistent with what other investigators are finding, Rutkowski says the fact that symptoms reported by participants often didn’t match what objective testing indicated, was surprising. And, it was bidirectional.

For example, the majority of participants reported taste and smell changes, but objective testing of both these senses did not always line up with what they reported. In fact, a higher percentage of those who did not report the changes actually had evidence of impaired function based on objective measures, the investigators write. While the reasons are not certain, part of the discrepancy may be a change in the quality of their taste and smell rather than pure impaired ability, Rutkowski says.

“They eat a chicken sandwich and it tastes like smoke or candles or some weird other thing but our taste strips are trying to depict specific tastes like salty and sweet,” Rutkowski says. Others, for example, may rely on these senses more, even when they are preparing the food, and may be apt to notice even a slight change, she says.

Either way, their data and others suggest a persistent loss of taste and smell following COVID-19, Rutkowski and her colleagues write.

Many earlier reports have been based on these kinds of self-reports, and the discrepancies they are finding indicate that approach may not reflect objective dysfunction, the investigators write.

On the other hand, cognitive testing may overestimate impairment in disadvantaged populations, they report.

The first enrollees were largely female, 35.5% were male. They were an average of 44.6 years old, nearly 40% were Black and 7% had been hospitalized because of COVID-19. Black participants were generally disproportionately affected, the investigators say.

Seventy-five percent of Black participants and 23.4% of white participants met criteria for mild cognitive impairment. The findings likely indicate that cognitive tests assess different ethnic groups differently. And, socioeconomic, psychosocial (issues like family problems, depression and sexual abuse) and physical health factors generally may disproportionately affect Black individuals, the investigators write. It also could mean that cognitive testing may overestimate clinical impairment in disadvantaged populations, they write.

Black and Hispanic individuals are considered twice as likely to be hospitalized by COVID-19 and ethnic and racial minorities are more likely to live in areas with higher rates of infection. Genetics also is a likely factor for their increased risk for increased impact from COVID, much like being at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease early and more severely in life.

A focus of CONGA is to try to better understand how increased risk and effects from COVID-19 impact Blacks, who comprise about 33% of the state’s population.

A reason fatigue appears to be such a major factor among those who had COVID-19 is potentially because of levels of inflammation, the body’s natural response to an infection, remain elevated in some individuals. For example, blood samples taken at the initial visit and again on follow up showed some inflammatory markers were up and stayed up in some individuals.

These findings and others indicate that even though the antibodies to the virus itself may wain, persistent inflammation is contributing to some of the symptoms like fatigue, she says. She notes patients with conditions like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, both considered autoimmune conditions that consequently also have high levels of inflammation, also include fatigue as a top symptom.

“They have body fatigue where they feel short of breath, they go to get the dishes done and they are feeling palpitations, they immediately have to sit down and they feel muscle soreness like they just ran a mile or more,” Rutkowski says.

“There is probably some degree of neurologic fatigue as well because patients also have brain fog, they say it hurts to think, to read even a single email and that their brain is just wiped out,” she says. Some studies have even shown shrinkage of brain volume as a result of even mild to moderate disease. 

These multisystem, ongoing concerns are why some health care facilities have established long COVID clinics where physicians with expertise in the myriad of problems they are experiencing gather to see each patient.

CONGA participants who reported more symptoms and problems tended to have depression and anxiety.

Problems like these as well as mild cognitive impairment and even impaired vocabulary may also reflect the long-term isolation COVID-19 produced for many individuals, Rutkowski says.

“You are not doing what you would normally do, like hanging out with your friends, the things that bring most people joy,” Rutkowski says. “On top of that, you may be dealing with physical ailments, lost friends and family members and loss of your job.”

For CONGA, participants self-report symptoms and answer questions about their general state of health like whether they smoked, drank alcohol, exercised, and any known preexisting medical conditions. But they also receive an extensive neurological exam that looks at fundamentals like mental status, reflexes and motor function. They also take established tests to assess cognitive function with results being age adjusted. They also do at-home extensive testing where they are asked to identify odors and the ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty, brothy or no taste. They also have blood analysis done to look for indicators of lingering infection like those inflammatory markers and oxidative stress.

Neuropsychiatric symptoms are observed in the acute phase of infection, but there is a need for accurate characterization of how symptoms evolve over time, the investigators write.

And particularly for some individuals, symptoms definitely linger. Even some previously high-functioning individuals, who normally worked 80 hours a week and exercised daily, may find themselves only able to function about an hour a day and be in the bed the remainder, Rutkowski says.

The investigators are searching for answers to why and how, and while Rutkowski says she cannot yet answer all their questions, she can tell them with certainty that they are not alone or “crazy.”  

One of the best things everyone can do moving forward is to remain diligent about avoiding infection, including getting vaccinated or boosted to help protect your brain and body from long COVID symptoms and help protect others from infection, Rutkowski says. There is evidence that the more times you are infected, the higher the risk of ongoing problems.

Rutkowski notes that their study findings may be somewhat biased toward high percentages of ongoing symptoms because the study likely is attracting a high percentage of individuals with concerns about ongoing problems.

SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have first infected people in late 2019 and is a member of the larger group of coronaviruses, which have been a source of upper respiratory tract infections, like the common cold, in people for years.

At least part of the reason SARS-CoV-2 is believed to have such a wide-ranging impact is that the virus is known to attach to angiotensin-converting enzyme-2, or ACE2, which is pervasive in the body. ACE2 has a key role in functions like regulating blood pressure and inflammation. It’s found on neurons, cells lining the nose, mouth, lungs and blood vessels, as well as the heart, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. The virus attaches directly to the ACE2 receptor on the surface of cells, which functions much like a door to let the virus inside.

Experience and study since COVID-19 started both indicate immediate neurological impact can include loss of taste and smell, brain infection, headaches and, less commonly, seizures, stroke and damage or death of nerves. As time has passed, there is increasing evidence that problems like loss of taste and smell, can become chronic, as well as problems like brain fog, extreme fatigue, depression, anxiety and insomnia, the investigators write. Persistent conditions including these and others are now referenced as “long Covid.”

The research was supported by funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and philanthropic support from the TR Reddy Family Fund.

Read the full study.


Read More

Continue Reading

Government

TDR’s U.S. Stock Market Preview For The Week Of August 8, 2022

A weekly stock market preview and the data that will impact the tape. Sunday Evening Futures Open – Stock Market Preview Weekend News And Developments…

Published

on

A weekly stock market preview and the data that will impact the tape.

Sunday Evening Futures Open – Stock Market Preview

Weekend News And Developments

Berkshire Hathaway dramatically slowed new investment in the second quarter after setting a blistering pace at the start of the year, as the US stock market sell-off pushed the insurance-to-railroad conglomerate to a $43.8bn loss.

China’s southern island province of Hainan started mass Covid-19 testing on Sunday, locking down more parts of the province of over 10 million residents, as authorities scramble to contain multiple Omicron-driven outbreaks, including the worst in capital Sanya, often called “China’s Hawaii”.

Cuba: 17 missing, 121 injured as fire rages in oil tank farm in Matanzas City

Equity positioning for both discretionary and systematic investors remains in the 12th percentile of its range since January 2010, according to Deutsche Bank published last week.

Fisker Inc. (NYSE:FSR) unveils a process for qualifying US-based reservation holders of the Fisker Ocean all-electric SUV to retain access to the existing federal tax credit. The current $7,500 tax credit would be unavailable should Congress pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and President Biden signs the legislation into law.

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown has called for an emergency budget before the UK hits a “financial timebomb” this autumn. Mr. Brown said millions would be pushed “over the edge” if the government does not address the cost of living crisis.

Israel said Sunday it killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in a crowded Gaza refugee camp, the second such targeted attack since launching its high-stakes military offensive against the militant group just before the weekend. The Iran-backed militant group has fired hundreds of rockets at Israel in response, raising the risk of the cross-border fighting turning into a full-fledged war.

NexJ Systems (TSX: NXJ) announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2022.

Rhine river hit by drought conditions, hampers German cargo shipping. According to reports, transport prices have shot up as drought and hot weather have affected water levels in the river Rhine in Germany leading cargo vessels to reduce loads during transportation.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had detected 66 Chinese air force planes and 14 Chinese warships conducting activities in and around the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, Reuters reports. Thursday’s drills involved the live firing of 11 missiles.

Unifor: 1,800 members from across the country arrive in Toronto this weekend before Monday’s start to the union’s 4th Constitutional Convention, where delegates will elect a new National President and vote on key priorities and initiatives. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. 

U.S. rate futures have priced in a 69% chance of a 75 bps hike at its September meeting, up from about 41% before the payrolls data. Futures traders have also factored in a fed funds rate of 3.57% by the end of the year.

What The Analysts Are Saying…

Anybody that jumped on the ‘Fed is going to pivot next year and start cutting rates’ is going to have to get off at the next station, because that’s not in the cards. It is clearly a situation where the economy is not screeching or heading into a recession here and now.” — Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Financial

“It is not a market bottom, things are not going to go up consistently from here because we are going to be buying low tech products for a while, so everyone has something to make up as COVID demand = pre-COVID​, there are fewer units for this. Reality check – unlike ‘Big Tech’, consumer discretionary related companies are offering more cautious guidance.”Morgan Stanley analyst commentary on a potential market bottom

The fact of the matter is this (Aug. 5 nonfarm payroll report) gives the Fed additional room to continue to tighten, even if it raises the probability of pushing the economy into recession. It’s not going to be an easy task to continue to tighten without negative repercussions for the consumer and the economy”. — Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors

“We are surprised to not see investors start to chase upside calls in fear of underperforming the market. People are just watching.” — Matthew Tym, head of equity derivatives trading at Cantor Fitzgerald

What We’re Watching

Psychedelic Sector Gaining Momentum: What started out as bottoming action after a protracted multi-quarter decline has now morphed into a tangible bullish impulse. We believe Netflix new docuseries How To Change Your Mind has played an important roll in the creation of critical mass awareness for the sector—and a rebound in broad market risk assets hasn’t hurt. At the tip of the spear for this sentiment shift is COMPASS Pathways plc (CMPS), which has risen 62.64% since  the docuseries debuted on July 12. Price on the benchmark Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF has now breached the 20-day MA/EMA.

We are watching to see if investor sentiment shifts into laggard names such as Cybin Inc. and MindMed, which has continued to fall following a proposed 15-1 reverse stock split initiative announced this year. Many Tier-2/3 names still 90%+ off their highs…

Revive Therapeutics (RVV:CSE, RVVTF:OTC): This has been on our radar for the last couple of weeks, and remains on our watch list. The company has already confirmed that their statistician is in possession of 210 unblinded patient data for its Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate Bucillamine to treat COVID-19. The company is currently attempting to revise endpoint data from a hospitalization/death focus to a symptoms focus. If they are to achieve this, it will mark a material event in the course of the trial.

YTD performance (+33.09%), Revive Therapeutics (RVVTF); Red line = 7day EMA

We believe an endpoint decision, either positive or negative, is imminent and will have cause a material price action event.

Consumer Price Index, August 10: Consumer inflation expectations for July are released by the New York Fed, while the University of Michigan’s preliminary survey of consumers for August is on tap. Taken together, these should give investors a better picture of how consumers are feeling about current economic conditions. 

As of June, it’s running at 9.1% on an annual basis. Investors, economists and consumers will be watching to see if price increases are easing as everything from gasoline to food is elevated.

Given the mixed signals on the overall state of the economy (i.e. indications of recession vs. this week’s strong nonfarm payrolls number), CPI will be in-focus by market participants. Scotiabank expects 8.9% y/y (9.1% prior) and 0.4% m/m for headline CPI; ex-food-and-energy: 6.1% y/y led by a 0.6% m/m gain.

Pot stocks earnings continue, with several Tier-1/Teri-2 names reporting including Curaleaf Holdings, Trulieve Cannabis, Marimed Inc., Cronos Group, TerrAscend Corp. and more. Last Wednesday, Green Thumb Industries allayed fears somewhat that this earnings season would be a write-off, producing solid numbers which beat expectations on several key metrics. An additional strong report or two will go a long way to help improve sentiment for a sector that’s been decimated over the past six quarters.

U.S. Economic Calendar

TIME (ET)REPORTPERIODMEDIAN FORECASTPREVIOUS
Monday, August 8
11:00 AMNY Fed 3-year inflation expectationsJuly3.60%
Tuesday, Aug. 9
6:00 AMNFIB small-business indexJuly89.589.5
8:30 AMProductivityQ2-4.30%-7.30%
8:30 AMUnit labor costsQ29.30%12.60%
Wednesday, August 10
8:30 AMConsumer price indexJuly0.30%1.30%
8:30 AMCore CPIJuly0.60%0.70%
8:30 AMCPI (year-over-year)July-8.70%9.10%
8:30 AMCore CPI (year-over-year)July6.10%5.90%
10:00 AMWholesale inventories (revision)June1.90%1.70%
2:00 PMFederal budget (compared with year earlier)July-$302 billion
Thursday, August 11
8:30 AMInitial jobless claimsAug. 6265,000260,000
8:30 AMContinuing jobless claimsJuly 301.42 million
8:30 AMProducer price indexJuly0.20%1.10%
Friday, Aug. 12
8:30 AMImport price indexJuly-0.80%0.20%
10:00 AMUMich consumer sentiment index (preliminary)Aug.5352
10:00 AMUMich 5-year inflation expectations (preliminary)Aug.2.90%

Meme Of The Week

Key Earnings (US Markets)

DateCompanySymbolEarnings estimate
Monday, August 83D SystemsDDD$0.00 per share
BarrickGOLD$0.22
BioNTechBNTX$7.08
EnergizerENR$0.76
News Corp.NWSA$0.08
NovavaxNVAX$5.18
Palantir TechnologiesPLTR$0.03
Take-Two Interactive SoftwareTTWO$0.86
Tyson FoodsTSN$1.97
UpstartUPST$0.08
Tuesday, Aug. 9Akamai TechnologiesAKAM$1.31
AramarkARMK$0.24
Bausch HealthBHC$0.91
Carlyle GroupCG$1.07
CoindeskCOIN-$2.68
Cronos GroupCRON-$0.07
EbixEBIX$0.58
EmersonEMR$1.29
GlobalFoundriesGFS$0.45
Grocery OutletGO$0.24
H & R BlockHRB$1.24
Hilton Grand VacationsHGV$0.88
Hyatt HotelsH$0.03
IAC/InterActiveCorpIAC-$2.35
iRobotIRBT-$1.55
Maxar TechnologiesMAXR$0.12
Norwegian Cruise LineNCLH-$0.83
Plug PowerPLUG-$0.20
Rackspace TechnologyRXT$0.16
Ralph LaurenRL$1.71
RobloxRBLX-$0.26
Spirit AirlinesSAVE-$0.46
Super Micro ComputerSMCI$2.35
SyscoSYY$1.11
The Trade DeskTTD$0.20
TTEC HoldingsTTEC$0.85
Unity SoftwareU-$0.21
Warner Music GroupWMG$0.20
World Wrestling EntertainmentWWE$0.55
Wynn ResortsWYNN-$0.97
Wednesday, August 10AppLovinAPP$0.50
CoherentCOHR$2.13
CoupangCPNG-$0.10
CyberArk SoftwareCYBR$0.01
Dutch BrosBROS$0.07
Fox Corp.FOXA$0.77
Franco-NevadaFNV$0.98
Jack in the BoxJACK$1.42
Manulife FinancialMFC$0.76
MatterportMTTR-$0.14
Pan Am SilverPAAS$0.14
Red Robin GourmetRRGB-$0.16
SonosSONO$0.21
TraegerCOOK$0.04
Wendy’sWEN$0.22
Wolverine World WideWWW$0.65
Thursday, August 11AerCapAER$1.42
BaiduBIDU$10.92
Brookfield Asset ManagementBAM$0.69
Canada GooseGOOS$2.98
Cardinal HealthCAH$1.18
Dillard’sDDS$2.88
Flower FoodsFLO$0.27
IlluminaILMN$0.64
LegalZoomLZ$0.02
Melco Resorts & EntertainmentMLCO-$0.44
NioNIO-$1.36
PoshmarkPOSH-$0.25
Rivian AutomotiveRIVN-$1.63
Ryan Specialty GroupRYAN$0.35
Six FlagsSIX$1.04
Solo BrandsSOLO$0.28
ToastTOST-$0.12
Utz BrandsUTZ$0.12
Warby ParkerWRBY-$0.02
W&T OffshoreWTI$0.37
Wheaton Precious MetalsWPM$0.32
Friday, Aug. 12Broadridge FinancialBR$2.65
Honest CompanyHNST$-$0.09
Spectrum BrandsSPB$1.42

FDA Calendar

None

Source: CNN Business – TDR’s stock market preview sentiment indicator

Past Week What’s Hot… and What’s Not

Source: TradingView – TDR’ stock market preview what’s hot this past week

Top 12 High Short Interest Stocks

TickerCompanyExchangeShortIntFloatShares O/SIndustry
BBBYBed Bath & Beyond Inc.Nasdaq46.38%61.57M79.96MRetail (Specialty Non-Apparel)
ICPTIntercept Pharmaceuticals IncNasdaq43.76%23.62M29.71MBiotechnology & Medical Research
MSTRMicroStrategy IncNasdaq39.29%9.32M9.33MSoftware & Programming
BYNDBeyond Meat IncNasdaq37.91%56.79M63.54MFood Processing
SWTXSpringWorks Therapeutics IncNasdaq37.51%31.64M49.41MBiotechnology & Medical Research
BIGBig Lots, Inc.NYSE37.37%26.49M28.92MRetailers – Discount Stores
EVGOEvgo IncNasdaq35.65%67.76M69.00MUtilities – Electric
UPSTUpstart Holdings IncNasdaq35.60%72.32M84.77MConsumer Lending
BGFVBig 5 Sporting Goods CorpNasdaq34.65%20.85M22.33MRetailers – Miscellaneous Specialty
SRGSeritage Growth PropertiesNYSE34.38%23.58M43.68MReal Estate Operations
NKLANikola CorporationNasdaq32.77%265.95M421.14MAuto & Truck Manufacturers
BLNKBlink Charging CoNasdaq32.54%33.98M50.20MUtilities – Electric

Tags: stock market preview, stock market preview August 8, 2022.

The post TDR’s U.S. Stock Market Preview For The Week Of August 8, 2022 appeared first on The Dales Report.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending