Oct. 16, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE…WE STILL HAVE MUCH TO LEARN

  • Martin Gagnon, Co-CEO National Bank Financial recorded an interview with Dr. Karl Weiss, Microbiologist and Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at Montreal Jewish General Hospital discussing his view of how long the COVID-19 pandemic will impact us.
    • Click here to watch the interview.
  • Pfizer says that the earliest a COVID-19 application would be made to the FDA is by late November for an ‘Emergency Use Authorization Application’ (EUA).
  • Ongoing illness after COVID-19 (‘long COVID’) may not be 1 syndrome but possibly up to 4 causing a rollercoaster of symptoms affecting all parts of the body and mind.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau plans to keep Canada’s borders closed as long as COVID-19 cases remain elevated in the US.
  • Nearly 90% of workers want to keep work-from-home option according to research from Cisco Systems.
  • Eli Lilly put its US government-sponsored antibody test on hold due to potential safety concerns.
  • Johnson and Johnson paused its COVID-19 vaccine trial because of an unexplained illness in a participant.

CIVIL UNREST

  • The number of first-time gun buyers in the US now accounts for 40% of sales.
  • Walmart has experienced shortages of guns and ammunition, no details provided.
  • FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System shows a 41% increase in activity on firearms checks from January to September 2020 vs 2019.
    • YTD 28.8 million background checks have been completed vs 2019 record of 28.4 million for the full year
    • Buyers are across the full spectrum from white, middle class women to Jewish senior citizens, Republicans and Democrats
  • Geneva-based Small Arms Survey estimated that there were 393 million guns in the US in 2017.
    • India had 71 million guns and China 50 million; both with populations 4x the size of the US

TIDBITS

  • China’s Shenzhen city gave 50,000 citizens ‘digital yuan’ to spend this week in a test of virtual currency. 
    • The experiment was the largest real word test to date and went off without any issues
  • Port of Los Angeles unloaded 471,795 TEU’s (20-foot equivalent container units) in September, up 17% from September 2019. 
    • Port of Los Angeles is the No 1 gateway for US trade with China
  • Waymo is now offering fully driverless rides for all Arizona customers.
  • Canadian home sales set a monthly record in September, up 45.6% vs September 2019
    • National average house prices up 17.5% Y/Y
    • Largely driven by Toronto and Vancouver
  • Google plans to make YouTube a major shopping destination (integrating with Shopify) to compete with Amazon. 
  • International Energy Agency says renewables are set to overtake coal this decade as the world’s favourite fuel to generate electricity.
    • ‘It is now cheaper to run power plants on solar panels rather than coal or natural gas in most nations’
  • Europe’s aviation regulator said the Boeing 737 Max is safe to fly even though they have asked for further upgrades which will not be available for up to 2 years.