China has reported that there has been a new outbreak in some of its eastern provinces near Russia. The symptoms are a little different than seen earlier and seem to be focused on lung issues rather than issues that are multi-organ – as has been the case with the earlier coronavirus cases. In response, China has again placed the three cities and two provinces involved in a complete lockdown, which includes about 108 million people.
Chinese scientists are wondering if the virus has mutated because this version takes longer to manifest symptoms and it takes longer to treat. If it has changed, it would make the development of a treatment or vaccine for it that much more complicated.
Some good news about COVID-19 is that researchers believe that they have discovered that people that have developed symptoms after testing negative are not contagious. It appears that the reason they test positive again is that the test procedures are picking up virus particles that are no longer alive. The virus could not be grown in a culture medium. They people may have developed antibodies that prevent reinfection. So far, testing equipment cannot distinguish between living and dead virus particles.
Some Chinese Companies Will Be Delisted from Stock Market
The Senate has passed a bill that may result in the ban of some Chinese companies being listed on U.S. stock exchanges. The goal of the bill, called the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, submitted by Sen. John Kennedy, said that its purpose is not to initiate a new cold war, but to make sure that China is willing “to play by the rules.” The bill passed in the Senate unanimously and it will help to ensure that Chinese companies seeking to raise money in the U.S. are not controlled by foreign governments. They will now be audited by accredited U.S. firms – which China had prevented previously.
New Stimulus Package Put on Hold
The Republicans have stopped the passage of a new $3 trillion stimulus package that had passed in the House last week. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), the Senate Majority Leader, has said that the Senate wants to take more time – at least two weeks – to see the results of the earlier stimulus packages. They also will consider reevaluating the unemployment benefits that pay more than what many people earn while working, since this may counter the hope of getting the nation back to work.
Disney Springs Reopening
After staying closed for some time, Disney has begun to open again. Although it is not a park, Disney Springs, a shopping center, is opening some of its stores today. The theme park is not yet open, and only some restaurants will be opening their doors. This will bring some customers back to its center, enabling the giant to start getting some income. Although the store openings are being opened in phases with some restrictions in place for coronavirus, Disney stock saw a rise in value today of 5.27% to $120.12 per share.
There is finally some good news concerning oil stocks. Oil prices have risen today into the $30s, showing that the market is more stable and investors are starting to feel more confident about investing in oil futures. Although it is still too low to provide strong stability, it appears that the market has reached a more doable flow of oil, rather than having an excess of oil with no place to store it. Of course, oil prices could change again anytime soon.