Issue

Young Adults Face Covid-19 Dangers: Harvard Study

Harvard study

Many people think the coronavirus only takes a brutal toll on older adults . . . and that young people are impervious.

But that is just wrong.

That was the conclusion of a new peer-reviewed study from Harvard. The Harvard study gathered data from more than 400 U.S. hospitals between April 1 and June 30.

The Harvard study found that among 3,222 young adults hospitalized with Covid-19, 88 died — about 2.7%.

One in five (20%) required intensive care, and one in 10 (10%) needed a ventilator to assist with breathing, the Harvard study found.

Among those who survived, 99 patients, or 3% could not be sent home from the hospital. They were transferred elsewhere for ongoing care or rehabilitation.

Nearly 60% of these younger patients hospitalized with Covid-19 were men, and a similar percentage were Black or Hispanic.

The Harvard study “establishes that Covid-19 is a life-threatening disease in people of all ages.” So wrote Dr. Mitchell Katz, a deputy editor at JAMA Internal Medicine.

The paper went on to say that “Social distancing, facial coverings and other approaches to prevent transmission are as important in young adults as in older people.”

One final point . . . researchers know very little about the long-term consequences for the young adults who recover from COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would call these “known unknowns.”

It is these “unknowns” where investment opportunities lie.

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The Big News

Stanford Medical School Blasts Trump Appointee

A group of 78 researchers and doctors from Stanford Medical School issued a scathing letter Wednesday. The group rebuked Dr. Scott Atlas for peddling “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science.” He was appointed to the White House coronavirus task force last month by President Trump. Atlas is a neuroradiologist and not an epidemiologist. He has no significant experience with treating infectious diseases. Atlas backs a controversial “herd immunity” strategy where a possible two million Americans could die from COVID.  

Teachers in at Least 5 States Dead from COVID

Teachers in at least five states have died from COVID-19 since the fall semester began. Six teachers across Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina have died since early August. It is unknown whether these teachers became infected at school. Several did attempt to quarantine to avoid infecting other educators and students.

Saliva-Based Coronavirus Tests Coming

On Thursday, two U.K. companies launched rapid saliva-based tests for Covid-19. This came amid growing calls for more testing capacity and faster, easier tests. iAbra developed a test that uses a mouth swab to extract saliva. The saliva is then analyzed to identify the virus. Results are delivered in just 20 seconds. Halo launched a saliva test which it says provides results within 24 hours. Clients can take the test at home by spitting into a tube. Samples are then sent off for processing at the company’s lab.   

New York Real Estate Still Suffering

The New York real estate market faces its biggest challenge since the financial crisis. Under 10% of New York’s office workers had returned as of last month. And just 54% of companies plan to return by July 2021, the New York Times reports. Businesses have increasingly put off decisions to sign new leases. Some companies are holding out for steeper discounts than are now on offer.

Peloton: A Pandemic Winner

Peloton is by far the largest company in the connected fitness market. It posted its first ever quarterly profit. Revenues in the quarter grew 172% from a year ago to $607.1 million. Earnings per share, at $0.27, were almost triple expectations. Net profit of $89.1 million compared with a loss of $47.4 million a year ago. Peloton’s paid digital subscriptions grew 210% to 316,800. Subscription revenue doubled from a year ago to $121.2 million, or a fifth of revenue.  Peloton stock has climbed 200% this year to give the company a valuation of more than $25 billion.   

Inside the Confidential Airbnb IPO

WSJ reports that Airbnb plans a secret +$18 billion IPO. That means the Silicon Valley giant is keeping details 100% confidential. Get details here: Inside Airbnb’s Confidential IPO.

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The Coronavirus Numbers

Here are the numbers from Friday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:

  • 28,200,037 Infected Worldwide
  • 910,134 Deaths
  • 6,397,547 Infected in the U.S.
  • 191,802 Deaths in the U.S.

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What’s Next

Yesterday was a volatile day on Wall Street. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2%.

Stocks fell for the fourth session out of five. Investors were disappointed a relief package to cushion coronavirus-induced damage was voted down in the U.S. Senate.  

Today, I want to touch upon on how the pandemic has adversely affected dividends.

Companies across the world have been forced to cut or suspend their dividends to conserve cash.

Globally, dividends fell by over a fifth to $382.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020, according to Janus Henderson.

The $108 billion fall is the biggest since the Janus Henderson began its global dividend index in 2009.

Share buybacks slid even more steeply. Here in the U.S., buybacks nearly halved in the second quarter.

The reason this happened is straightforward.

Companies have over the years returned more and more of their earnings to investors in the form of dividends and stock buybacks.

Many have even loaded up on debt to do so. This led to an erosion of their creditworthiness. Thus, the need now to conserve cash and strengthen their balance sheets.  

Research from Schroders indicates that dividend bear markets can linger. Often, they last longer than the economic downturns that cause them.

Schroders points to current dividend futures. These contracts are pricing in U.S. dividends remaining below the 2019 mark well into the next decade.

That’s just another reason investors look increasingly to growth stocks. 

And many of tomorrow’s growth stars are just coming to market now.

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Yours in Health & Wealth,

Tony Daltorio

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