Please find this week’s edition of Weekly Digest attached.
Covid-19 Report – A Second Wave Is Upon Us
Following on from my email last week, the global seven-day average of new infections (as of Friday) is now over 350,000 infections per day (328,000 last week). The death rate, whilst awful, is slightly down over the week, with the seven-day average at around 5,500 per day worldwide, as depicted in this graph:
There is again evidence that the number of new cases is linked to the temperature. States in the US that have been colder have seen a more rapid pick up in new infections:
The Week Ahead
- US fiscal cliff negotations – 48 hours to close a deal
- Us election: we are seeing the narrowing of polls, which is no surprise. The betting margin still favours Joe Biden by 60/40 (a large gap this late in the campaign), with a reported probability of over 70% that the Democrats also take the senate
- The second and last US Presidential election TV debate is scheduled for Thursday. It promises to be bruising, with Trump’s weekend focus on Michigan’s Democratic governor (“lock her up”) continuing the tone of this unedifying campaign. Trump’s position on Covid-19 has been somewhat undermined by Chris Christie, former New Jersey Governor and Trump inner-circle advisor, who, after contracting Covid-19 severely following his presence at the “Rose Garden” event, has declared that the President should be unequivocal in his support for wearing masks
- Brexit talks: having faltered last week, behind the scenes telephone contacts are expected to continue.
- Company results season ramps up. 90 of the S&P 500 Composite report earnings this week and 70 from the Euro Stoxx 600 in Europe. Following resilient results from many companies last week, including for our core US name Intuitive Surgical (US-listed global leader in robot-assisted surgery – held where appropriate), Names of note of particular interest to us this week include UBS, BHP, Vivendi, ThermoFisher, Assa Abloy, Anglo American and Unilever