Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.
• Apple confirmed that the arrival of new iPhone models will be delayed this year by “a few weeks,” the company’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri revealed during its earnings conference Thursday. Unlike last year, when Apple distributed new iPhones in late September, the company will release what are expected to be its first 5G-compatible iPhones in October this year.
• Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who ran for the Republican presidential nomination, has died from coronavirus, his family said in a statement Thursday. He was 74. Cain was the co-chair of Black Voices for Trump and was at the president’s June rally in Tulsa, Okla., although a campaign spokesman said he didn’t meet with President Trump at that event. He was hospitalized on July 1 and recently had been receiving oxygen.
• President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that the 2020 election be postponed. In a tweet, he repeated his unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting would lead to fraud and asked, “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Several prominent Republicans rebuked the president’s suggestion, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.). “He can suggest whatever he wants. The law is what it is,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), said. “We’re going to have an election that’s legitimate, it’s going to be credible, it’s going to be the same as we’ve always done it.” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) said that “It doesn’t matter what one individual in this country says. We still are a country based on the rule of law. And we must follow the law until either the Constitution is changed or until the law is changed.”
• The U.S. economy suffered its biggest slowdown on record in the second quarter, shrinking at a 32.9% annual rate, government data released Thursday show. The three months from April to June contain periods when state orders shutting down the economy were at their height as well as when many of those orders were rolled back and many state economies reopened and then saw a spike in cases. The horrific drop in U.S. GDP is slightly less than the 34.7% annualized fall that economists’ polled by The Wall Street Journal expected.
• The German economy was hit with its worst contraction on record in the second quarter, falling 10.1% compared with the first three months of 2020. Germany accounts for about 20% of the European economy, so the drop is a bad sign for the rest of the continent, particularly given how many German companies’ operations are intertwined in other nearby economies. There are some positive signs going forward, with the German economy now forecast to shrink less than other major countries, given it’s strong fiscal and public health response to the crisis, and relative lack of reliance on tourism.
• Eye protection may be recommended in the future to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday. “Theoretically you should protect all of the mucosal surfaces, so if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” Dr. Fauci said. Covid-19 infections occur through the parts of the body that secrete mucous, which is produced to help to protect against dirt and germs. Wearing eye protection like a face shield of goggles is “not universally recommended,” he said, “but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can.” Cloth masks are currently recommended for everyone, he pointed out, because they are so easy to buy or make.
• The additional federal unemployment benefits will almost certainly expire at the end of this week, as Congress and the White House appear nowhere near to a deal to extend the $600 a week emergency federal payments. Republicans failed to advance their proposal to cut federal payments to $200 a week in the Senate. The GOP tried to move their proposal forward with unanimous consent but Democrats objected and offered the $3 trillion package passed by the House more than two months ago in its place. That maneuver is expected to fail as well. 1.43 million Americans filed for new unemployment claims for the week that ended July 25, an increase from the previous week. In additional, about 830,000 workers filed for the newly created pandemic unemployment payments, which provide jobless benefits to workers who previously wouldn’t have qualified for unemployment like gig-economy workers.
• California, Florida and Texas all reported record coronavirus death tolls on Wednesday as fatalities from the pandemic rose across the country. There have also been a steady rise in hospitalizations from Covid-19, which is likely due to the lag in positive results and the onset of severe symptoms and the transmission of the disease to older and more vulnerable populations.
Write to Ben Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org