Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower On Demand Concerns

White House Closes Cafeterias After Positive Covid-19 Test

Two cafeterias in the White House have been closed after a staff member working there tested positive for Covid-19.

In an email sent to the staff, the White House said there is “no reason for panic or alarm.”

The cafeterias that have been shutdown – Ike’s Eatery and the cafeteria of the New Executive Office Building – are functioning in buildings next to the White House.

The White House Medical Unit is conducting contact tracing.

Based on their interviews, the officials decided that no Executive Office of the President staff should self-quarantine due to exposure, as the risk of re-transmission is low.

“All proper protocols were in place by the vendor including masks, gloves, plastic shielding at check out, and no dine-in service,” NBC News quoted a General Services Administration spokesperson as saying.

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the New Executive Office Building, where many senior advisers and top officials work, were closed after the infectious case was reported.

One of President Donald Trump’s personal valets and two White House employees tested positive for coronavirus in May.

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Washington Nationals Star Juan Soto Tests Positive for Covid-19

Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto, a favorite to win the National League most-valuable-player award this year, has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The news, announced by team General Manager Mike Rizzo, came out just hours before the defending World Series champions were set to open the truncated MLB season against the New York Yankees.

With one of the game’s brightest young stars testing positive, questions will once again arise about the wisdom of starting the season during a pandemic. ESPN reported the news on Soto earlier Thursday, and said he will need two negative tests before he can return to the field.

Rizzo questioned MLB’s testing protocols earlier this month when teams were receiving delayed results. In recent days, Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle said, the testing regime has improved.

“It’s gotten a lot better,” Doolittle said to reporters, “and to give credit where credit is due, the testing turnaround and those protocols have been running, really, really well.”

IDEX Corp. Q2 adjusted earnings Beat Estimates

IDEX Corp. (IEX) announced a profit for second quarter that decreased from the same period last year.

The company’s bottom line came in at $70.86 million, or $0.93 per share. This compares with $113.21 million, or $1.48 per share, in last year’s second quarter.

Excluding items, IDEX Corp. reported adjusted earnings of $83.55 million or $1.10 per share for the period.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.00 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company’s revenue for the quarter fell 12.6% to $561.25 million from $642.10 million last year.

IDEX Corp. earnings at a glance:

-Earnings (Q2): $83.55 Mln. vs. $114.78 Mln. last year.
-EPS (Q2): $1.10 vs. $1.50 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $1.00
-Revenue (Q2): $561.25 Mln vs. $642.10 Mln last year.

Another 1.4 million Americans file jobless claims

New York (CNN Business)The Dow and the broader US stock market took a hit on Thursday as momentum on Wall Street fizzled out.

Investors are busy focusing on companies’ financial results in what’s expected to be one of the worst earnings seasons in history. And the economic recovery, hopes for which had been spurred by improvements in economic data, isn’t looking so hot anymore either.
The Department of Labor reported an increase in first-time claims for unemployment benefits Thursday morning, the first such rise in 16 weeks.

    The market has recovered from its historic pandemic selloff in March, thanks in large part to a strong rally in technology stocks. But it’s set to have one of its worst performances on Thursday.
    The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished down 2.3%. The S&P 500 (SPX), the broadest measure of Wall Street, closed down 1.2%. It was their worst performance since June 26.

    The Dow (INDU) fell 1.3%, or 354 points, its worst day in two weeks.

      Stocks weren’t the only assets in the red. The US dollar, as measured by the ICE US Dollar Index, fell 0.2% against its rivals. The index hit its lowest level since September 2018.
      “It will take more than a day to determine, though it is possible the greenback may be losing some of its safe-haven appeal, as an uncertain economic outlook weighs,” Ronald Simpson, global currency analyst at Action Economics, wrote in a note to clients.

      Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower On Demand Concerns

      Crude oil futures settled lower on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session, amid rising concerns over excess supply in the market and the outlook for energy demand.

      Lingering worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of fresh lockdown measures have resulted in increased concerns about energy demand. An escalation in U.S.-China tensions is also adding to the concerns.

      West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures settled at $41.07 a barrel, losing $0.83 or about 2%.

      Brent Crude futures declined $0.98 or 2.2% to $43.31 a barrel.

      Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showed that crude inventories in the U.S. increased by 4.9 million barrels last week, nearly 2.5 times the expected increase.

      The EIA data also showed that oil stored at the Cushing, Oklahoma, facility rose 1.37 million barrels last week. That was nearly two times the expected surge.

      In geopolitical news, the Trump administration’s decision to close China’s consulate in Houston over concerns about spying has sent U.S.-China relations to a new low.

      China vowed to retaliate and said the unilateral closure within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of recent actions against China.