Daily Comment (May 13, 2020)

by Bill O’Grady, Thomas Wash, and Patrick Fearon-Hernandez, CFA

[Posted: 9:30 AM EDT]

The general rise in today’s markets comes as multiple countries and states continue to ease their coronavirus restrictions and Democrats in the House released their proposal for another round of fiscal relief, but optimism remains tempered by health officials’ warnings against easing too quickly and signs of increasing tensions between the U.S. and China.  As always, we review the key pandemic and related news below.

COVID-19:  Official data show confirmed cases have risen to 4,283,885 worldwide, with 292,619 deaths and 1,504,429 recoveries.  In the United States, confirmed cases rose to 1,370,016, with 82,389 deaths and 230,087 recoveries.  Here is the interactive chart from the Financial Times that allows you to compare cases and deaths among countries, scaled by population.


Real Economy

U.S. Policy Response

Foreign Policy Response

Political Impact

Israel-China-United States:  Responding to U.S. concern about China’s growing influence over the Israeli economy, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will force additional checks on whether a Hong Kong-based company should be allowed to bid for the construction of a $1.5 billion desalination plant in the country.

China:  Ahead of two major policy meetings in Beijing next week, Communist Party hardliners are reportedly planting criticisms in state media of January’s “Phase I” trade deal between the U.S. and China.  The criticisms likely signal an effort to push back against any further concessions to the U.S. in trade and other bilateral issues.

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