WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
Stock futures this morning fell as oil prices continued to tumble to a 20-year low, aggravating concerns over storage capacity for producers’ untouched supply. Singapore’s largest oil trader has filed for bankruptcy due to the crash in demand, even after the OPEC in the previous weeks agreed to a historic production cut in an effort to buoy prices.
With the oil industry reeling from the crash, industry experts say alternative energies such as wind and solar will provide a larger percentage of the overall power supply. Market analysts say that with an anticipated 5% reduction in worldwide carbon emissions this year, it is possible that global emissions have already peaked, meaning that emissions could stay flat or continue to slide even after the pandemic’s end.
Congress and President Trump are nearing agreement on an additional $400 billion in aid for small businesses after banks reported that they ran out of recently allocated Paycheck Protection Program funding “within minutes.” Following backlash for elbowing out smaller businesses to receive federal aid, Shake Shack returned its $10 million PPP loan, although the company had previously laid off hundreds of workers and sold stocks to stay solvent. In Denmark, the government has refused to aid companies that pay out dividends to shareholders or buy back shares.
Restaurant owners of every size say the impacts of the virus have been “ heartbreaking.” While large chains reduce hours and rely on delivery and takeout, smaller operations say they are getting as little as 5% of the business they once received.
As public health authorities brace for the possibility of second and third waves of infection, economists expect additional layoffs will spread to white collar and government workers. Some say that massive cuts to college sports programs could lead to a permanent shift in how those programs are operated and funded.
An Italian cruise ship has been dubbed the “luckiest cruise ship in the world” after passengers spent a 15-week voyage across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans completely free of the coronavirus. In Florida, police arrested a homicide suspect while patrolling the beaches for proper social distancing.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
Working From Home Opens The Door To Employing People With Disabilities – Forbes – 4/20/2020
A silver lining to the crisis is that managers see that working from home doesn’t have to be isolating and distracting. […] Managers are seeing how working from home makes work more accessible. Getting dressed and ready for work can be far more time consuming for people with disabilities, adding hours to their days. Commuting can be difficult, complicated, and, sometimes, even dangerous. Remote work alleviates these additional stressors.
Coronavirus continues to take its toll on the media industry – Columbia Journalism Review – 4/20/2020
Even before “coronavirus” became a household word, the industry was already reeling from a series of body blows, most of them delivered by Google and Facebook and their dominance of the advertising market. Since 2008, nearly half of US newspaper journalism jobs have disappeared, according to the LA Times, leaving fewer than 38,000 reporters, photographers, and editors.
Some regions may be able to return to as much as 70% of normal mobility levels, but we need far better data and covid-19 tracking before we should try. – MIT Technology Review – 4/20/2020
The uncertainties point to just how difficult it is to estimate the effects of lifting social restrictions. While much of COVID-19 modeling so far has explored how well varying degrees of social distancing can limit the spread of the disease, increasingly researchers are attempting to predict the impact of easing those restrictions.
Everything we know about coronavirus immunity, and plenty we still don’t – STAT – 4/20/2020
Globally, there have only been a few thousand people exposed to the other coronaviruses that have caused outbreak emergencies, SARS and MERS. But there are four other coronaviruses that circulate in people and cause roughly a quarter of all common colds. It’s thought that just about everyone has antibodies to some combination of those coronaviruses, so serological tests for SARS-CoV-2 would need to be able to differentiate among them.
Spending on clothes plummets 50%. Here’s what it means for fashion’s future – Fast Company – 4/20/2020
Consumers are actually spending more on essential goods: Grocery stores saw a 26.9% increase in spending and health stores saw a 4.3% increase. This is partly because these are the only brick-and-mortar stores that are allowed to remain open right now, but it is also because consumers are worried about spending money unnecessarily with a significant recession looming on the horizon. Across the board, sectors that rely on discretionary spending have seen declines.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post.
Jim Cramer @Jim Cramer 20 Apr Oil at $14 is truly eye-popping. There are only about two or three oil companies that can make money at these prices. Many will have to re-structure… Really hard to see many getting out as they are.
Houston Chronicle @Houston Chronicle 20 Apr Halliuburton posts $1 billion loss during first quarter as oil slides
TIME @TIME 20 Apr The downfall of Hin Leong shows the depth of the fallout from the dramatic drop in oil prices so far this year as a consequence of the Saudi-Russia price war and the coronavirus pandemic
AFP news agency @AFP news agency 20 Apr On April 20, 2010, the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform killed 11 workers and unleashed over four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. A decade later, deepwater drilling remains widespread off US coasts
Scott Rose @Scott Rose 20 Apr I don’t really *need* a barrel of oil, but at $13 I could probably find a place to put one
Turbine Labs has tracked 61,953 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 5,723,276 social media posts over the last 24 hours.