Cases Surge, Businesses Decide What To Do Next
The following is included in PMG’s Summer Briefing Series, exclusive content and commentary provided to PMG clients 2/week on the marketing and business news that’s making headlines.
I hope you had a refreshing few days watching Hamilton and illegal fireworks. It’s a slower week than normal on the world stage, so let’s jump in.
The second lockdown
The week ahead
The cat’s out of the bag and America is facing an unanticipated surge in cases, and likely a second lockdown, as over 40 states record a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. According to The Wall Street Journal, “leaders in Texas, Florida, and Arizona are warning that hospitals will reach capacity with COVID-19 patients in the coming days.” At least 15 states have broken their single-day coronavirus infection records in the last week, and most others are walking back reopening plans. California closed its beaches for Independence Day weekend, Miami declared a pandemic curfew, and Texas went from preventing cities from issuing mask mandates to requiring them statewide.
Across the globe, cases also continue to rise with Australia closing its Victoria-New South Wales border, India overtaking Russia with the third-highest number of known cases and Brazil remaining second with 1.6 million cases.
As such, most business sectors are bracing for another slowdown in sales, with consumers opting to stay home instead of venture out. According to Axios, the UBS predicted 100,000 brick-and-mortar US retail stores will close by 2025, “a trend that started before the pandemic and has accelerated amid coronavirus-related shutdowns.” This slowdown will look different than the one we just experienced. For starters, big names like Walmart are putting their spaces to use by converting 160 parking lots into drive-in cinemas.
The events will be free for frontline workers, and attendees will be able to pick up snacks curbside by ordering online. Celebrity appearances are also expected. And with the NBA and MLS descending onto the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando this week, at least we’ll have live sporting events to entertain the masses again.
If you looked at the markets, you wouldn’t realize any of this — *motions at everything* — is going on. According to Axios, Wall Street ended June with the best quarterly performance since 1998 despite the US GDP dropping 5% in the first quarter, personal income decreasing 4.2% in May, and consumer confidence still below pre-crisis levels. The primary reasons the stock market has risen so substantially despite the downturn are the following:
Congress passed several extensive relief programs.
The Federal Reserve flooded the markets with cash.
Investors have cash on hand and are willing to invest.
Expectations for a vaccine remain high.
The latest: President Trump signed an extension of the PPP small business program.
We’ll see how markets react this week as regional healthcare prepares for new caseloads.
Uber is acquiring Postmates for $2.65 billion and is expected to combine Postmates with its own Uber Eats.
Facebook is shutting down Lasso, its TikTok competitor.
TikTok faces increased scrutiny after more data privacy concerns surface.
Boeing is said to be ending production of the 747 in about two years.
Cleveland’s MLB franchise announced it would consider changing its name, as will the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
Amazon, Facebook, and Google are facing new proposed European rules to curb alleged anticompetitive behavior via more taxes and measures to require greater responsibility in blocking illegal content.
Monday: The US Treasury reached a loan agreement with airlines such as American Airlines and Spirit, with a pool of $25 billion made available by the Cares Act.
Tuesday: Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Chris Cox will meet with the civil rights group that organized the Facebook boycott, and NBA teams begin moving into the Walt Disney World “NBA bubble.”
Wednesday: MLS is scheduled to resume play at Walt Disney World
Thursday: Unemployment claims
Friday: Live Nation’s “Live from the Drive-In” concert series begins
The Weekend: Phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort, starting with Magic Kingdom Park and Animal Kingdom Park.
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That’s it for today. We’ll see you again on Thursday.
Posted by Abby Long
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