The Market Today

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Rise as Regions Re-Open; Ever Given Partially Refloated

by Craig Dismuke, Dudley Carter

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (VS Coronavirus Chartbook – PDF)

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Show Signs of Trending Higher: The U.S. reported 89k new COVID-19 cases last Wednesday, the highest daily tally since mid-February, followed by elevated cases Thursday and Friday.  The 7-day average for new cases has now turned higher.  It appears to be states primarily in the Northeast driving cases higher (eg. NY, MI, CT, NH, IA, VT, PA, and MA), although more than half of all states have seen their 7-day average increase over the past week.  As more and more regions re-open, the number of daily case confirmations will be key to watch to determine ability of activity to remain open.


Dallas Fed and Fed Governor Waller: At 9:30 a.m. CT, the Dallas Fed report on regional manufacturing activity is expected to inch down after a strong February result.  Fed Governor Waller is scheduled to speak at 10:00 a.m. CT. The focus this week will be on Friday’s payroll report for the month of March.  Expectations are for a reacceleration in the rate of recovery.


Ever Given Refloated but Not Yet Dislodged Completely: According to news reports overnight, the Ever Given ship has been partially refloated but remains an impediment to the reportedly 453 ships waiting to pass through the Suez Canal.  The canal handles approximately 12% of global trade and has been out of commission for six days.  The incident may result in a very temporary increase in prices on some items but it unlikely to have a lasting effect on global supply or demand, nor have a permanent effect on prices.

ICYMI – March 26, 2021 Weekly Market Recap: Last week’s economic reports covering February were, again, disappointing but broadly dismissed as temporary weakness.  The 4th quarter GDP report was revised up from 4.1% to 4.3% with tracking indices now pointing to up to a 10% jump in 1Q21.  New and existing home sales both fell dramatically in February while durable goods orders softened as well.  The headline data included February’s 7.1% drop in personal income after the one-time effect of direct stimulus payments worked through the system in January.  Personal spending fell 1.0% for the month.  The more timely March data, including the Markit PMIs and consumer confidence showed more evidence of reacceleration. White House officials indicated that the President was preparing a $3 trillion spending package which might be released this week.  President Biden also doubled his vaccine goal to 200 million doses in his first 100 days of office.  Multiple Fed officials spoke, but none expressed concerns about an excessive and sustained increase in inflation.  Absent any new catalyst for more optimism and after seven consecutive weeks of yields climbing, the 10-year Treasury finally pulled back, down 5.0 bps for the week to 1.67%.  Click here to view the full recap.

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