1)Gilead’s initial, albeit early, success with remdesivir in a small sample size.
2)Austria and Germany draw out and begin specific reopening steps. Plans are coalescing in individual US states. The rate of spread is slowing. The PGA will play a golf tournament on June 11-14th.
3)Painful to see but not as bad as feared. Initial claims totaled 5.25mm, about 250k below expectations and is down from a revised 6.62mm last week. The 4 week average is 5.5mm. Continuing claims, delayed by a week, are up to almost 12mm.
4)Refi apps rose 10% w/o/w after last week’s 19.4% fall and are up 192% y/o/y in response to the collapse in rates where the average 30 yr rate is down to just 3.45%.
5)Core retail sales in March had a plus sign in front of it, rising 1.7% m/o/m instead of falling by 2% as estimated. The number was saved by half the month having stores open and helped by ‘food/beverage’ sales as well as online retailing. There was a 51% plunge in clothing sales, a 27% drop in restaurant/bars (and will fall obviously much more in April as everything is closed outside take out and delivery), a 27% drop in furniture sales, a 15% fall in electronics and 20% decline in department stores. Outside the core figure, auto sales/parts fell 26%, gasoline station sales fell 17% while building materials eked out a gain of 1.3% m/o/m.
6)As Major League Baseball debates when to start playing games again possibly all in Arizona and without fans in the stands, this will be a good foundation in determining who is more safe than others, //www.wsj.com/articles/mlb-employees-to-participate-in-coronavirus-antibody-study-11586944803 and a precursor for what’s to come for the rest of us.
7)China’s March trade data was better than feared as exports fell 6.6% y/o/y, about half the estimate of down 13.9% while imports were lower by .9% vs the forecast of down 9.8%. Keep in mind, it was really the 2nd half of March that things really fell off a cliff so it will be the April data that will fully capture the current economic situation. We know China’s main export markets are basically shut while China’s reopening could help their imports.
8)Singapore’s non oil exports in March jumped 17.6% y/o/y, well better than the estimate of down 8%. The figure was helped by a 49% spike in pharma exports and a 6% rise in electronic shipments.
1)The April Philly manufacturing index was bad not surprisingly. The figure was -56.6 vs -12.7 in March and worse than the estimate of -32. The internals were terrible as to be expected. New orders fell to -70.9 from -15.5, backlogs dropped to -13.5 from -7.4, Employment plunged to -46.7 from +4.1 and the workweek went to -54.5. Inventories too went negative as did prices paid and received. The 6 month outlook is reflecting optimism that it can only get better from here as it’s hard to believe it could get much worse. This number rose to 43 from 35.2. Capital spending plans remained subdued but at least is above zero.
2)The NY manufacturing index was terrible too falling to -78.2 from -21.5. The throw the dart forecast was -35. New orders plunged to -66.3 from -9.3 with shipments at -68.1 from -1.7. Backlogs came in at -16.8 from +1.4 while delivery times (reflecting supply chains turned upside down) jumped to +11 from +2.2. Employment sunk to -55.3 from -1.5 and the workweek fell sharply as well. Inventories went back below zero. Both prices paid and received fell a lot m/o/m. The only bright spot was the 6 month outlook which rose from +1.2 to +7 as we all hope things can’t get much worse. Capital spending plans though went negative.
3)Housing starts in March came in at 1.216mm, about 85k less than expected and down from 1.564mm in February when the country was in a much different place. Both single family and multi family components were down. With respect to the forward looking permits, all of the weakness was in single family but multi family actually rose slightly.
4)The NAHB April home builder index fell to 30 from 72. The finger in the air estimate was 55. Present conditions dropped to 36 from 79 while Future expectations fell to also 36 from 75. With open houses basically stopped (outside of virtual), Prospective Buyers Traffic plunged to just 13 from 56. The NAHB stated the obvious, “This unprecedented drop in builder confidence is due exclusively to the coronavirus outbreak across the nation, as unemployment has skyrocketed and gaps in the supply chain have hampered construction activities.” They also talked directly about what the builders are doing in response to protect themselves. “Meanwhile, there continues to be some confusion over builder eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program, as some builders have successfully submitted loan applications while others have not been able to.”
5)The MBA said purchase applications to buy a home fell for the 5th straight week to the lowest level since October 2015. The w/o/w decline of 1.8% though was a much slower pace relative to the double digit drops in the 3 prior weeks but they are still down 35% y/o/y.
6)The Cass Freight shipments index fell 9.2% y/o/y in March. Highlighting the hopes of the stock market and the economic reality on the ground, they said “In April to date (4/13/20), investors appear more optimistic about a flattening of the curve and a re-opening of business (and society) sooner rather than later. We expect future market volatility to continue in the coming weeks, as we believe front line issues will get worse and draw headlines before any good news really comes to the millions of people impacted by the current crisis.” As for the what the number will be in April, it “will undoubtedly be worse and likely the worst month in a long time. There has been a clear divide between winners and losers of these shut-in orders with demand for groceries, home improvement, e-commerce, and consumer staples increasing, while restaurant, auto, and (mall) retail falling to practically zero volume.”
7)US industrial production in March fell 5.4% m/o/m, more than the estimate of down 4% with the manufacturing component down by 6.3%.
8)The Fed’s balance sheet rises another $284b to $6.37 Trillion.
9)The estimate for China’s Q1 GDP was down 6% y/o/y and it instead printed lower by 6.8% with particular weakness in retail sales. Fixed asset investment was also soft. A positive was the better than expected industrial production figure as factories slowly turned back on in March.
10)This is what happens when things close but passenger vehicle registrations in Europe in March got cut in half, falling by 52% y/o/y. The actual number of cars around 850k is the lowest since 1990 when the data first started to get reported.