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US Tops 150k Daily COVID-19 Cases For First Time: Live Updates

US Tops 150k Daily COVID-19 Cases For First Time: Live Updates

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US Tops 150k Daily COVID-19 Cases For First Time: Live Updates Tyler Durden Thu, 11/12/2020 - 18:44

Summary:

  • US cases hit new daily record
  • NJ positivity rate surges
  • Chicago issues stay at home order
  • Georgia Secretary of State to quarantine after announcing hand recount
  • French ICU occupancy up to 96.6%
  • Detroit returns to remote learning
  • CDC releases guidance reminding users that masks also help protect wearers
  • Austria sees new daily record in cases
  • UK outbreak may finally be starting to slow
  • Global cases see new record
  • Global deaths top 12k for first time
  • Cases rising in all 50 states for first time
  • New cases finally starting to weaken in Europe
  • Moderna says vaccine data incoming
  • Turkey bans smoking on crowded streets
  • Japan suffers biggest daily jump in cases yet
  • Hungary strikes deal for Russian vaccine

* * *

Update (1830ET): For the first time, the US has reported more than 150k coronavirus cases in a single day, marking the latest in a series of disturbing national records.

As the chart above shows, the number of deaths has continued to climb, producing more alarming and leading to governors around the country tightening restrictions this week.

* * *

Update (1500ET): Just like the rest of the country, New Jersey is seeing the virus come roaring back as officials confirmed Thursday that the Garden State has seen more than 10,000 new cases since Monday, and that the positivity rate in the state has soared to 12% (neighboring PA, by comparison, is at 18.3%. NY, by contrast, has a positivity rate that's still much, much lower, by comparison.

Still, officials in New York are worried that worsening numbers in NJ could trigger a bigger outbreak across the Hudson.

"We have to get back to the mindset that saw us crush the curve throughout the spring," Murphy said in another tweet amid signs that exhaustion with social distancing in lockdowns was leading to lax compliance.

* * *

* * *

Update (1410ET): As new cases and hospitalizations in Illinois hit new records, the city of Chicago, the country's third-largest, has just issued an "advisory" asking residents to call off Thanksgiving, and engage in only "essential" trips, like to school, work or the store, for the next 30 days.

  • CHICAGO ADVISORY INCLUDES LEAVING FOR WORK, SCHOOL
  • CHICAGO RECOMMENDS CALLING OFF THANKSGIVING GATHERINGS
  • CHICAGO ADVISORY TO STAY IN PLACE FOR 30 DAYS UNLESS CHANGED

The advisory takes effect Monday, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot warning that deaths in the city could surpass 1,000 by the end of the year if the virus continues on its trajectory

In other news, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said he will quarantine after his wife tested positive for COVID-19, raising the question: Who will count the votes?

* * *

Update (1310ET): After the government affirmed that France's lockdown-lite measures would stay in place for at least another two weeks, official data showed that French ICU occupancy, one of the most closely watched indicators in Europe, has risen again to 96.6%, a new post-springtime high.

"We count in #France in recent days a hospitalization every 30 seconds and an admission to intensive care every 3 minutes," PM Jean Castex warned.

In total, France has some 4,803 COVID-19 patients in its ICUs (with 40% of them under 65). Presently, 25% of all deaths in France right now are due to COVID-19

Over the past 2 weeks, 72,279 fines have been handed out for COVID-19 related infractions, according to Castex, the government's pointman.

Over in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel just raised the possibility of extending that country's COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday. Though the pace of the outbreak has slowed, Merkel said the levels of spread are still too high, with Germany looking to reduce cases to 50 per 100,000, from 138 as of Thursday.

Also, in case you forgot, the CDC has released new guidance reminding Americans that masks offer protection benefits to wearers (as opposed to, well, everybody else).

* * *

Update (0945ET): As the US heads closer to the Biden lockdown, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Detroit schools are about to halt face-to-face learning because of rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Per the report, Detroit Public Schools are halting in-person learning through Jan. 11, as COVID-19, meaning the city's 50k students likely won't return to classrooms until next semester.

"All classes will be held online starting Monday, November 16 due to the rapid increase in the COVID-19 infection rate in Detroit," the district said in an announcement. "Face-to-face learning and learning centers will remain open this Thursday and Friday to provide families time to rearrange educational support for students."

Other nearby Michigan districts that have reverted to online learning in recent days include: Grosse Pointe, Holly, Huron Valley, Pontiac, Rochester and Utica.

Meanwhile, Austria has become the latest EU member to report a new daily record, even after tightening restrictions on nonessential businesses last week. The country reported 9,262 new cases, and 44 deaths.

In a rare bit of good news, a recent UK symptoms study has put the COVID-19 rate of spread below 1, indicating that the outbreak is finally starting to slow.

* * *

Around the world, the number of new COVID-19 deaths recorded over the 24 hours to Wednesday topped 12k for the first time, a new daily record, as the global coronavirus pandemic places unprecedented pressure on health-care systems from Paris to the Mountain West.

Cases are also rising in all 50 states for the first time since the pandemic began.

To be sure, over the past week, the number of new cases has finally started to plateau, or decline, in the UK, Germany and France. Meanwhile, hard-hit neighbors like Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have seen significant declines in infection rates as well, as the chart below shows.

But the number of hospitalized patients is still growing: In the US, new national records north of 60k have been reached, while France, Italy and the UK have reached their highest levels since the springtime. Governors from New York to California have imposed new restrictions on businesses, social gatherings and movement this week.

By now, all of these countries have enacted at least some restrictions, including closing bars and restaurants, or at least limiting their indoor service capacity, closing non-essential shops, or barring alcohol sales after 2200, like Sweden just did.

In Germany, the Robert Koch Institute revealed that officials had counted another 21,866 new cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total number to 727,553. Germany has also recorded 11,982 deaths. Since the country imposed its "lockdown lite" earlier this month, the curve has flattening ever-so-slightly, a sign that "we are not completely at the mercy of this virus," Germany's Lothar Wieler, the head of the RKI, said.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now topped 52 million, after Johns Hopkins reported the first new daily record for new confirmed cases worldwide yesterday, with 666,955 new cases yesterday.

With vaccine news dominating the headlines this week, Hungary has reportedly agreed to buy its first doses of the Russian-made "Sputnik 5" COVID-19 vaccine after authorities in the country revealed that it was 92% effective at preventing infection, according to initial data from the final stage trial.

Even more importantly: In the US, Moderna - a company working on a vaccine with the same mRNA technology as the Pfizer vaccine - said that it finally has enough data for an "interim analysis" of the late-stage experimental trial. The company confirmed that the threshold of 53 patients sickened has been reached, meaning the data analysis on the results will soon be ready.The news predictably sent Moderna shares rocketed 5.3% in premarket trade.

BMO Capital Markets analyst George Farmer (outperform) said the announcement indicates first interim results could be “coming any day”, and that it has a greater than 95% chance of coming in positive. Jefferies analysts led by Michael J. Yee said they expect the results will be positive, with an efficacy rate around the 90% level seen in the Pfizer vaccine, and that we "could hear back soon".

Finally, Turkey has banned smoking in some public places to try and stamp out a surge in infections. The country's interior minister decreed late Wednesday that smoking would be banned on busy streets, at bus stops and in public squares. The ban was enacted after the country determined that Turks were "incorrectly using their masks by lowering them below their chins to smoke cigarettes." Roughly one-third of Turks smoke, according to WHO data.

Here's some more news from Thursday morning and overnight:

Japan hit a new daily record of coronavirus infections Thursday as authorities began hinting they may take stronger measures to arrest the increase. At least 1,634 cases were recorded nationwide, according to a tally by national broadcaster NHK, topping the previous high set during a surge in August. While numbers are low in absolute terms compared to many other countries, a spike in northern Japan is leading to concerns cases could spread as winter sets in (Source: Bloomberg).

Some regions in China might see clusters of infections during the winter season, Li Bin, the deputy director of National Health Commission, said at a briefing. China will enhance testing capacity, improve monitoring and increase testing on imported frozen food (Source: Bloomberg).

India's medical research body and the Serum Institute completed the enrollment for phase 3 trial of the Oxford University AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, while the Serum Institute has produced 40mln doses of the vaccine and the medical research body stated that it was the most advanced vaccine in human testing in India. Furthermore, it was also reported that the Serum Institute received bulk COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax which it will soon fill and finish them in vials, while it is to test the Novavax vaccine in a phase 3 trial in India (Source: Newswires).

Belgium reported fewer Covid-19 patients in intensive care for a second straight day, providing further evidence the peak in hospitalizations may have passed. There are now 1,463 patients in ICU, down 7 from the day before and 11 fewer than the record 1,474 of Nov. 9. Belgium has a total capacity of about 2,000 ICU beds. Hospital admissions fell to 542 from 609 the prior day, with the total number of hospitals beds taken dropping to less than 7,000 again (Source: Bloomberg).

New Zealand health officials are asking people who work in downtown Auckland to stay home Friday while they trace the movements of a person who may have contracted coronavirus from within the community. New Zealand earlier this year succeeded in eliminating community transmission of the coronavirus by imposing a strict nationwide lockdown (Source: Bloomberg).

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Economics

Braxia and KetaMD, CEOs McIntyre and Gumpel Speak on Acquisition

Last week, the Canadian company Braxia Scientific acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding stock of KetaMD, Inc. This is an exciting acquisition, and…

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Last week, the Canadian company Braxia Scientific acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding stock of KetaMD, Inc. This is an exciting acquisition, and in today’s interview, The Dales Report’s Nicole Hodges talks with CEOs Dr. Roger McIntyre and Warren Gumpel of Braxia Scientific and KetaMD respectively.

For some background information, KetaMD is a U.S. based, privately-held, innovative telemedicine company, with a mission to address mental health challenges via access to technology-facilitated ketamine-based treatments. Braxia Scientific is Canada’s first clinic specializing in ketamine treatments for mood disorders. They recorded revenue of $1.49m for 2022 fiscal year, ended March 31. On a year-over-year basis, revenue increased 47.5%.

Here’s some highlights from the interview.

KetaMD gives Braxia a presence in the US

Dr. McIntyre says that KetaMD gives Braxia what they’ve had as their vision from the beginning: a US presence. KetaMD is a living program. It’s already running, has infrastructure, and patients. McIntyre believes that a program like KetaMD is something Braxia’s needed to scale and obtain commercial success.

With telemedicine, Braxia has a potential to serve a gap in access. The zeitgeist of “patient going to medicine” has flipped, McIntyre says. “Now it’s medicine goes to the patient, and that is long overdue.”

COVID speeding a trend that was already happening

In 2020, 80% of physicians indicated they had virtual visits. That’s a number up from 22% the year before. But this is something that many doctors, McIntyre included, believe always should have happened. The pandemic only was the catalyst for innovation and making the option viable.

While some treatments will always need a clinic or a hospital, McIntyre believes some treatments can be done safely at home. And they are, for many chronic diseases. He feels implementing ketamine and psychedelics would be among these treatments where service could be expanded into the home. It would require careful SOPs in place, best practices, and surveillance. But he believes Braxia Scientific could deliver this with KetaMD.

Gumpel to stay as CEO of KetaMD

Gumpel says that KetaMD benefits in this acquisition from being part of the world’s most prominent researchers in depression, psychedelics, and ketamine. In the acquisition, he’ll stay on as CEO. He admits that Dr. McIntyre has been a huge part of collecting the data on the safety of ketamine treatment, and has a strong motivation to “see this thing through until most of society can access that – or at least the people that need it and want it.”

Gumpel admits he has a personal connection to ketamine treatment. As a person who has experienced bouts of depression for years, it saved his life, he says. He is grateful he was living within walking distance of ketamine treatment in Manhattan. It made him extremely aware of the accessibility gap, which in part inspired KetaMD.

Be sure to tune in for the full interview regarding Braxia and KetaMD, right here on The Dales Report!

The post Braxia and KetaMD, CEOs McIntyre and Gumpel Speak on Acquisition appeared first on The Dales Report.

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Spread & Containment

How to Use Dividends to Find the Best Tech Stock

Investors Alley
How to Use Dividends to Find the Best Tech Stock
When we talk about tech stock investing, we hear discussions of all sorts about different…

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Investors Alley
How to Use Dividends to Find the Best Tech Stock

When we talk about tech stock investing, we hear discussions of all sorts about different measures used for picking stocks.

For example, some tech investors use year-over-year revenue growth. Others subscribe to a theory that has been floating around for many years, that the secret to picking tech stocks was looking at the percentage of cash flows spent on research and development.

All too often, tech stock analysis consists of storytelling and searching for ideas that will change the world, something I’ve heard thousands of times during my career. The number of companies that actually did change the world probably totals up to a few dozen over three decades.

Some of those beat the market. Others did not.

I have found a variable that can help tech investors spot promising opportunities to identify technology companies that have higher probabilities of providing market-beating returns: dividends.

Note a stock’s dividend yield: investors who want higher dividends with an overall total return would be smart to look into high-yield tech stocks as part of their income strategy. The key to using dividends to find market-beating tech stocks is to look at the rate of their dividend growth. It doesn’t matter how high the dividend is at any given time. We want to see companies that are consistently growing their dividends.

A tech company that pays a dividend is making a statement. It tells the world: “We are generating enough cash to pay the bills, hire great people, and fund our future growth plans as well as R&D. In fact, we are generating so much cash we have some left over to pay out to our investors.”

Ideally, we want to limit our universe of companies to those who are increasing their payout by at least 20% annually. Growing a dividend at that high a rate says that things are just continuing to get better.

Once we have a universe of tech companies that are growing their payouts at high levels, we want to make sure we only own those that really do have a wonderful business that just keeps getting better. We want to use a financial checklist to make sure our companies are in excellent financial shape and have what it takes to keep growing the business.

I prefer the nine-point checklist developed by Professor Joseph Piotroski when he was at the University of Chicago – known as the “Piotroski F-Score”. This is a list of nine criteria of profitability, leverage, and efficiency. On each criterion, a firm can either get one or zero points – pass or fail.

I limit my universe of tech stocks with paid dividend growth to just two to three with the highest scores on the Piotroski checklist.

Using this simple method for picking tech stock winners has crushed the S&P 500 over the past decade and even edged at the tech-heavy NASDAQ 100.

Texas Instruments (TXN) makes the current list of technology companies with high dividend growth and outstanding fundamentals and prospects. The company makes most of its revenues from semiconductors, but it does still have some revenues from its calculators and other business machines. (I have had one of these, a Texas BAII calculator, within arm’s reach for most of my career.)

Texas Instruments had a solid second quarter and increased its guidance for the third quarter. The company has not suffered the China slowdown problems that have plagued some of their competitors so far. The brightest spot in the recent report was semiconductors being sold to the automobile industry, which were up 20%.

Although we have seen some slowdown in semiconductors due to the supply chain issues created by the pandemic, Texas Instruments has powerful tailwinds from all the developments we see in technology over the next decade.

Every one of the hottest trends in the economy—from renewable energy to artificial intelligence and everything in between—is going to increase demand for semiconductor chips. There are thousands of semiconductors in every electric vehicle, which will be another massive source of demand for the industry.

Texas Instruments has a yield of 2.5% right now, and has been growing that payout by 20.5% annually.

Another semiconductor company, Broadcom (AVGO) has the fastest-growing payout on our list right now. The company makes chips for smartphones, networking, broadband, and wireless connectivity. Broadcom’s recent purchase of Symantec’s Enterprise Business also puts it in the cybersecurity business.

Broadcom’s shares currently yield 2.97% and the payment has risen by an average of 49% annually for the past five years.

Most investors will never think of using dividends as part of the stock selection process. Rigorous testing shows that dividend growth is actually an important part of identifying companies with the potential to be huge winners.

My favorite way to invest in those companies isn’t to buy their stock, though. Instead, I like to use a special, little-known investment that lets me invest in these companies for up to 18% less than what others pay…

While collecting twice or more the dividend yield!

All without any more risk. I’m tracking 5 opportunities like that right now, and I lay them all out right here.

Only 3% of investors even know these funds exist

But using them, I can beat the market 2-to-1 while collecting 2-10X MORE yield from regular dividend stocks.

I learned this trick while I was rubbing elbows with some of the biggest fund managers in US history.

They too are buying these little known funds, cashing in huge discounts and collecting income while they do it.

Click here to learn the secret yourself.

 

How to Use Dividends to Find the Best Tech Stock
Tim Melvin

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Government

Where Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean Sit on Covid Vaccines

Do You still need to be vaccinated to go on a Royal Caribbean, Carnival, or Norwegian Cruise?

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Do You still need to be vaccinated to go on a Royal Caribbean, Carnival, or Norwegian Cruise?

Cruise line covid-19 vaccination and testing rules, which were imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the beginning of the pandemic, have been stricter than most. After the pandemic started in early 2020, the CDC signed a No Sail Order on March 14, 2020, which was finally lifted after nearly eight months on Oct. 30, 2020.

After the No Sail Order was lifted, the CDC enacted extremely restrictive rules and regulations to help keep passengers safe with the covid pandemic still raging throughout the world. The rules and regulations were set forth to begin to return cruise lines to operational status.

The cruise lines first had to be staffed accordingly and set up with the ability to test, treat and quarantine for covid medical emergencies. Testing for crew and passengers before embarkment and before dis-embarkment was required. The testing at pre-embarkment was a measure to protect those boarding, while the post-trip testing was for determining if an infection started on the cruise line itself. Being able to track the virus was very important in the prevention of spreading the virus and protecting patrons.

Image source: Shutterstock

Vaccination Still Not a Free Pass to Board

Once the vaccination was developed and approved, it became part of the CDC guidelines for cruise line adult passengers to have their vaccination before boarding. Even with a vaccination, guests still needed to test before they boarded the cruise lines. As the vaccine was approved for younger age groups, those age groups were then also required to have the vaccine to travel. Passengers were required to be fully vaccinated unless they are exempt by some status.

Before boarding, cruise line passengers who tested positive, as well as their travel companions, were not allowed to board, depending on the cruise line and how long the cruise may be. Some passengers were allowed to board and then isolate, others would have to reschedule their trip. Trip insurance is a good buy these days.

Cruise Lines Letting Loose on Vaccine Policies

Carnival Cruise Line  (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report has now removed pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests and also welcomes unvaccinated guests to travel. Fully vaccinated guests traveling less than 16 nights with the cruise line will no longer be subjected to testing, but still must provide proof of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated travelers will only need to provide a negative covid test result to board the ships. All rules and regulations are still subject to the destination country’s guidelines.

According to the Healthy Sail Center for Royal Caribbean  (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, the cruise line has updated its covid vaccination protocol. The cruise line will now allow passengers regardless of vaccination status to board in some ports if the travelers meet the testing requirements. Testing requirements vary by cruise departure and destination. Check the cruise lines port departure for updated information on requirements.

There is, however, a major exception, at least for now, which is obvious when you look at the specific wording shared by the cruise line:

"Starting with September 5 departures, all travelers regardless of vaccination status can cruise on the following itineraries, as long as they meet any testing requirements to board.

  • Cruises from Los Angeles, California.
  • Cruises from Galveston, Texas.
  • Cruises from New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Cruises from a European homeport.

Notice that Florida, a major port for the cruise line, is not currently on the list.

In the U.S. aside from Florida, any guest with a valid negative covid test within the last three days will be able to board. These guests will also not be required to take a second test at the boarding terminal. Fully vaccinated guests do not need to provide proof of a negative covid test for shorter cruises. See the cruise line website for all updated information as it is subject to change.

Beginning Sept. 3, Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report is dropping its covid vaccine requirements for all its cruises. The cruise line stated that it is continuing to follow requirements for all destination countries, so guests traveling will want to check on destination vaccine and testing requirements. All guests 12 and older regardless of vaccination need to show proof of a negative test within 72 hours. Check NCL online for further instructions prior to travel.

The CDC has taken the stance that travelers are now well informed enough to make their own decisions when it comes to traveling on cruise lines. The travelers are taking their own assumed risk for their health and well-being. Cruise lines are now welcoming this new freedom for their passengers. 

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