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3,054 Thursday – US Hits Record-High Deaths, Europe Increases Stimulus

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And even more for us as 3,000 less Americans get to share it with us every day.  In 365 days, that would be over 1M people dead – assuming we stay at "just" 3,000 deaths per day, of course.  That's not very likely though as Trump's own Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr Deborah Birx, is now warning us that the upcoming December surge in COVID-19 cases will be the "worst public health event" that the country will ever face.   "This fall/winter surge is combining everything that we saw in the spring with everything we saw in the summer - plus the fall surge going into a winter surge," said Birx.

Experts who spoke to Salon also emphasized that the public health crisis is not some distant future event; it is already upon us.

"They [hospitals] are overwhelmed already," Dr. Alfred Sommer, dean emeritus and professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote to Salon. "Many are not just near the breaking point in physical capacity, but what is too often overlooked, their staff are exhausted, physically and emotionally, with no let-up in sight."

History's deadliest pandemics: Plague, smallpox, flu, covid-19 - Washington  Post"Respiratory disease always get worse in the fall and winter," Benjamin wrote to Salon. "So this natural increase plus the lack of aggressive use of masks, social distancing and closures of large events will make this outbreak worse. Influenza during this time will also make it worse unless people get their flu shots.  We just came off Thanksgiving when far too many people travelled and congregated, spreading this highly infectious disease; and Christmas is coming up, when even more people who are infectious will be congregating with family and friends and spreading it further."

Sommer also noted that winter is helpful to the virus' need to spread, as people are "getting closer together indoors," while dry air "helps to 'preserve' the virus in the air and surfaces longer."  Sommer lamented that so many Americans shirk public health advice, such as mask-wearing and avoiding congregating in groups. 

"It is a great lesson to the rest of the world at how bizarre our 'wild west' mentality can go against everyone's best interest," Sommer added.  "Over 100,000 Covid-19 patients are now hospitalized in the US with over 20,000 patients in the intensive care units for the first time since the pandemic began. This is nearly double the record highs in hospitalizations we saw in the springtime in the northeastern states and in the summer in the Sun Belt.  The consequences of an overwhelmed hospital system to the health of the individual with COVID, or with any other serious medical condition requiring hospital care, are dire."

THe "Ignore" Button is the greatest thing ever... | What's Best Audio and  Video Forum. The Best High End Audio Forum on the planet!I know, it's depressing so ignore, Ignore, IGNORE – but maybe we NEED to pay attention to what's happening outside our walls before those walls come tumbling down around us.  We are at war with a virus and, just like with Vietnam, President Trump is refusing to fight but this invader isn't 10,000 miles away but right outside our homes and the Republicans in charge are doing NOTHING about it.  

That animation above stopped on April 6th, when there were 70,988 deaths in the World from Covid-19 – now it's 1,571,890 with 289,450 deaths in the US alone and we're adding 21,000 dead Americans PER WEEK at the current pace.  Is doing nothing while thousands of people die murder or just negligent homicide?  I think negligent homicide applies to a person who SHOULD have done something to help but chose not to.  But a politician – even a PRESIDENT – who has been given all the power in the World by the people to make a difference and has sworn an oath to protect them, who not only does NOTHING but actively prevents SOMETHING from being done by others…  That is no longer negligence – that's murder!  

Trump is currently suing the states based on the logic that their "negligence" in protecting the election caused harm to millions of people who voted for him and wanted him to be President.  By that same logic, the millions of people who have lost their loved ones BECAUSE he was President and failed to act to protect the American people, should have their day in court as well.  


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  1. Good morning. Here is the replay of this week's webinar. 


  2. Hi Andy,

    The RSS feed is not working this morning, can you please look into it?


  3. Airbnb’s $47 Billion Value Faces Debut Test in DoorDash’s Wake

  4. ‘Just unimaginable’: Latin America’s Covid crisis heads from bad to worse

  5. Good morning! 

    LaGarde saying Q4 will contract by 2.2% in Europe, despite the additional stimulus.  

    Atlanta Fed, on the other hand, is predicting 12% growth in the US.   These are not both likely to be true:

    • Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model estimates Q4 growth at 11.2% (unchanged from Dec. 4 after rounding) driven by today's wholesale trade report which indicate a gain higher than expected.
    • As per Goldman Sachs, the U.S. economy will recover faster than expected in part because the sectors most susceptible to the most recent coronavirus spread aren’t taking as severe a hit.
    • In 2021, GDP in 2021 is projected to increase 5.3% compared to a 2020 drop of about 3.5%.
    • Q4 GDP is estimated at 5%, up substantially from its previous forecast of 3.2%; sequential annualized gains in 2021 are seen at 3%, 8.5%, 5% and 4% that would bring total annual growth to 5.3%, which would be the strongest year for the U.S. since 1984.
    • "While many services industries saw large declines in activity in the initial stages of the virus, only the most virus-sensitive sectors have shown meaningful sequential declines in November, with most other industries close to or at their peak levels since the start of the pandemic," Goldman economist David Choi said in a note.
    • WisdomTree on Seeking Alpha wrote, "Based on GDP data, the U.S. economy could be on the verge of coming all the way back to pre-pandemic numbers much sooner than expected."
    • "The pandemic seems likely to get worse before it gets better, but expectations for fourth-quarter GDP in the US continue to reflect moderate growth," SA Contributor James Picerno writes.
    • Note: GDPNow is not an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed but is considered as a running estimate of real GDP growth.
    • Previously: Positive durable orders, consumer spending push Atlanta Fed Q4 GDP estimates higher to 11% (Nov. 25)

  6. 60% of the employment is small business. 

    Key findings include:

    • Earnings trends over the past 3 months declined 4 points to a net negative 7% reporting higher earnings quarter over quarter.
    • Inventory investment plans for the next 3 to 6 months decreased 7 points from a 48-year record high of a net 12% in October to a net 5% in November.
    • The share of total employment accounted for by firms with 500 or more workers has risen (vs. 2019) while the share accounted for by small employers has declined, no surprise because Covid-19 policies have targeted business activity that disproportionately affect small firms. Amazon has not had to close, but restaurants, gyms, small retailers, etc. have had to close for some periods or operate under heavy traffic restrictions. This has been the major source of increased unemployment. Solving this problem will require getting our small business sector back in operation. Amazon is doing just fine. The arrival of effective vaccines will make this far easier to accomplish as would the use of more sensible government policies than those currently used to manage the small business sector.

  7. RSS feed not working:

    Here is the response when the 'RSS2' feed link above is clicked (after logging in):

    'This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.' and then the document tree is shown.

  8. Good Morning.

  9. Jeepers what's up with crude? Looking forward to Phil's eventual short call to catch the reversal…

  10. TSLA Jan2022 4200 calls are 350 and the 180 puts are 7.50. But which way to go?

  11. oops, sorry, that 2022 call was pre-split (thought it was a "little high" LOL). The cheapest post-split option is the 1200 call for 68

  12. Pharm – inflation for the top 0.01%

  13. RSS/Lotter, they are looking into it.

    Oil/Mr M – Brent is over $50 so it's hard to short.  

    5% move on /NG today:

    Trillionaires/Pharm – Up 34%, what a great year it's been!

    • S&P Dow Jones Indices has started removing Chinese companies from its indexes following a Trump administration executive order that deters investment in companies designated as backed by China's military.
    • Among 10 companies whose mainland, Hong Kong and ADR shares will be removed by Dec. 21 is top chip firm Semiconductor Manufacturing International (OTCQX:SMICY), which was put on a blacklist at the beginning of the month.
    • And 18 Chinese companies will be removed from fixed income indexes by Jan. 1.
    • “The order … may impact the ability of market participants to replicate S&P DJI Equity and Fixed Income Indices containing securities affected by the order,” S&P DJI says.
    • "The demand is so great in China that SMIC will continue to operate and grow revenues during this period of embargos, trade wars, and blacklists for as long as they last," Robert Castellano wrote on Seeking Alpha last week.
    • Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP +3.4%) discloses a deal to sell as many as 30 cargoes of liquefied natural gas in 2021 to a unit of Cheniere Energy (LNG +1%).
    • Sabine Pass Liquefaction will deliver the cargoes to Cheniere Marketing International as part of the deal, CQP says in an SEC filing.
    • The cargoes would be priced at a rate equal to 115% of Henry Hub natural gas futures plus a premium of $0.728/MMBtu.
    • CQP will further capitalize on the LNG market's recovery, likely by extending contract coverage and raising production, Sarfaraz A. Khan writes in an analysis published recently on Seeking Alpha.
    • Hyatt Hotels (H -0.7%) announced mindful growth of the Alila, Hyatt Centric and Thompson Hotels brands with ~20 new hotels that have opened in 2020 and hotels planned to open in the Americas through 2021.
    • Strong growth is fueled by Hyatt's 2018 acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality and Hyatt's commitment to growing with intent and offering compelling experiences.
    • As guests and customers consider traveling again, Hyatt is rethinking the guest experience with creativity and care to provide enhanced convenience, flexibility and wellbeing through special offers.
    • Toyota (TM +1.0%) says its next generation fuel cell electric technology is now powering a new set of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks.
    • The company says the same fuel cell system that powers the all-new 2021 Mirai sedan isb eing applied to a set of production-intent prototype trucks that are being prepared to run drayage routes at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach to validate their performance, efficiency and drivability.
    • Designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide variety of OEM truck makers, the new fuel cell electric system in the latest prototypes has been adapted to a Kenworth T680 chassis.
    • Per Toyota, a more compact hydrogen storage cabinet behind the cab houses six hydrogen tanks with the same capacity as previous prototypes while a new, more powerful lithium-ion battery helps smooth out the power flow to the electric motors.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Earlier this week, the Toyota Mirai launch caught the eye of Bank of America.
    • The Nasdaq (COMP) +0.2% is higher following a quick turnaround in megacap stocks.
    • Tesla +1.5% bounced off correction territory shortly after the start of trading. Apple and Amazon are also higher among the megacaps, but Facebook still lags.
    • The S&P (SP500) -0.2% is off its lows, with Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) +3% countering the weakness in nine other sectors. Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI) are bringing up the rear.
    • Interest rates are sliding, with the 10-year Treasury yield edging down to 0.93%.
    • General Motors -4% is the weakest in the S&P.
    • Energy stocks lead the S&P gainers list, with Apache and Occidental on top.
    • WTI futures +4% are higher and Brent crude +4% is topping $50/barrel since the first time since March.

  14. So, GOOGL owns a big chunk of ADT.  How about a play on a non-pharma company?  

    JAN22 5/10 BCS, selling 7.5Ps for net 85c?  Just a few to see how this thing runs.

  15. Um, VIX Mar21 55Cs….someone just lit it up.  55K calls 8K open interest.  Hummmmm…….

  16. TSLA   someone sold 10,000 Jan2023 $120 puts for $8.20     oh, just now another 1000 for less 

  17. Adding to SRRA holdings. $15.15.

  18. BMY filled its gap.  I like that $58.00 line

  19. ADT/Pharm – They don't even make money.  Not for me.  

    VIX is interesting.

    TSLA/Stock – Someone also bought 10,000 2023 $120 puts for $8.20!  Oh wait, that was me..  Don't forget, it doesn't have to go down $500.  The $120 puts are $8.20 and the $220 puts are $25 so a nice 2x gain on a less than 20% drop and the 2022 $120 puts are about $5 so not a lot of decay risk vs the reward potential.  

  20. I'd say the public health official from Idaho summed it up best.

    I am sad. I am tired. I fear that, in my choosing to hold public office, my family has too often paid the price,” said the board member, the Ada county commissioner Diana Lachiondo. “I increasingly don’t recognize this place. There is an ugliness and cruelty in our national rhetoric that is reaching a fevered pitch here at home, and that should worry us all.”

    a journalist recently wrote that Cruelty was the point of the Republican Party. 

  21. Sorry, have not been posting much this week! Super busy and not really focused on the markets as I am trying to control my rage about what is going right now. I know that pstas said that we should chill (how is the fishing?) but:

    We have 3000 new deaths every day! Every single day now… And it's climbing.

    Hospitals are overwhelmed so likely to get worse!

    In the meantime, we are now facing the fact that one party in America is anti-democratic and supporting a psychopath with fascist tendency in the White House. It's not just my opinion – plenty of old fashion conservatives are actually saying that as well. You have 100 congressmen who signed on to that Texas lawsuit written to disenfranchise millions of people. And apparently there is only fraud in states that Biden won – some with a GOP legislature and governors. The deep state runs really deep. I wonder why Texas didn't sue Florida, or Alabama for example. They have GOP governors too.

    So who cares about the markets when your country is under attack! Sorry for the rant!

  22. Needs to be updated! Likely by end of week that we'll have #2 to #10 the past 2 weeks.