World Coronavirus Dispatch: Record surge reaches oldest populations in US

German firms turn pessimistic on economic recovery, pharmacies see record flu shot demand, Rolls-Royce prepares temporary closures and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Photo: Bloomberg

SAP’s disappointing results are a warning for tech earnings: Dire earnings results at SAP wiped out more than 35 billion euros ($41 billion) from the German software company’s market value in a matter of minutes, sending a warning to tech investors about the health of the business software industry. SAP, one of Europe’s largest tech companies, cut its revenue forecast for the full year and said it expected the fresh wave of Covid-19 lockdowns to hurt demand through the first half of 2021. The results caused shares to fall the most ever in a single day. SAP’s collapse caused the wider tech market to drop, with Europe’s Stoxx Technology index falling 7.6 percent, its biggest one-day loss since March. Shares of cloud-applications giant Salesforce.com Inc. fell 4.1 percent. Oracle -- SAP’s main rival -- dropped 3.9 percent. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 43,514,678

Change Over Yesterday: 505,367

Total Deaths: 1,159,533

Total Recovered: 29,199,666

Nations hit with most cases: US (8,704,524), India (7,946,854), Brazil (5,409,854), Russia (1,520,800) and France (1,209,651)

Record Covid-19 surge reaches America’s oldest populations: Counties with the largest 65-and-over populations are now recording on average 18.9 daily cases per 100,000 residents, 67 percent higher than a month ago, according to the latest data. Weekly Report last month found that increasing infections among younger adults were generally followed by upticks in the 60-plus demographic in the same area. Read more here

NYC to begin blended learning: New York City will allow students to switch from all-remote learning to a blended programme for two weeks beginning November 2, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. In-person education has been rarer than anticipated, as many parents were hesitant to send their children. The city has proven that schools are safe, with a positive testing rate of less than 1 percent, and it is encouraging parents to reconsider. Read more here

German companies are turning pessimistic on the economic recovery: German companies are turning pessimistic on the recovery, potentially marking the beginning of a major economic setback after half a year of gradual improvements. The Ifo Institute’s business climate index dropped for the first time in six months. The reading of 92.7 in October was lower than the median forecast of economists, and compares to 93.2 the previous month. Read more here

Pharmacies see record flu shot demand in first season with Covid: While the world awaits a vaccine for Covid-19, Americans are rushing to pharmacies in record numbers for seasonal flu shots. Public health officials say that may help avoid a “twindemic.” Manufacturers are producing record numbers of shots to meet the demand, and more have been distributed at this point in the season than last year. Read more here

Slovakia goes ahead with mass virus testing after pilot run: This past weekend, the army tested 140,945 people in four counties using rapid antigen tests. That was a turnout of 91 per cent with a 4 per cent infection rate, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said. The results suggest testing at a nationwide scale is justified and the country is ready to do so this weekend, he said. Read more here

Rolls-Royce prepares temporary closures and cuts to hours: Rolls-Royce is preparing to close factories temporarily, reduce working hours and cut benefits, just as workers at one of its oldest plants prepare to launch the first strike at the company for 41 years. Staff were warned last week by email that the aero-engine maker was looking at new measures in its current cost-cutting drive “around pay and benefits and potential operational shutdowns”, according to FT sources. Read more here

Starbucks, Yum sales likely recovered, but new costs may weigh: US restaurant chains including Starbucks and Taco Bell parent Yum Brands could show a sales recovery as consumers resume normal activities, but higher wages, commodity and Covid-19-related costs will likely weigh on earnings. The sector, one of the worst hit by the pandemic, is still operating with limited sit-down options in some places but has begun recovering from lows in March and April. Read more here


UK accused of letting private equity ‘cash in’ on loans: 
The government has been accused of letting private equity groups “cash in” on state-backed coronavirus loans, by allowing the companies that they own to use the funding to cover the costs of the large debts used to buy them. In September, ministers loosened the rules around government-guaranteed loans, making it easier for companies laden with debts as part of their takeover by private equity groups to secure funding to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the leveraged buyout model used by the private equity industry, the companies they buy take on the debts used for the acquisitions, and become responsible for repaying the borrowings and the interest due on them. Read more here
Once valued at more than $20 billion, Bombardier today is worth just a fraction of that: 
The company is still struggling to recover from its failed attempt to compete with Airbus and Boeing. And the pandemic has made the situation worse. Read more here


Cases are still rising in 77 countries: 
The US, Russia and France set new daily records for Covid-19 infections. See where infections are trending or relative to the size of the outbreak in each country