Life

Eight core industries’ output contracts 0.8% in September

Oil Prices Fall 4% On Demand Concerns

Oil prices slumped on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session on worries that fresh restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic will hit oil demand.

Benchmark Brent crude fell nearly 4 percent to $38.11 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 3.9 percent at $35.95.

Both contracts plunged over 5 percent on Wednesday after data showed crude inventories in the U.S. rose for the first time in three weeks.

As coronavirus cases soar, some European governments including Germany and France are imposing drastic curbs on people’s daily lives.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday announced to begin a ‘lockdown light’ from November 2 to limit contact as much as possible and stem the rapid spread of virus.

France will go into a second national lockdown beginning at midnight tonight to counter a second wave of the virus.

The British government is under pressure to develop a national strategy to combat the virus surge and “rescue Christmas”.

The World Health Organization said for the second consecutive week, the European region accounted for the biggest proportion of new infections, with more than 1.3 million cases or about 46 percent of the worldwide total.

Rising Libyan oil production and the weakening of Zeta to a tropical storm also put pressure on oil prices.

Walmart Helping Public To Safely Dispose Unused, Expired Medications

Walmart and Sam’s Club announced options for customers to safely dispose unused, unwanted and expired medication throughout the year. With this, the retail giant aims to help the public from potential danger for misuse and abuse of prescription medications.

On Saturday, October 24, the company will host in-person medication disposal events at select store and club locations across U.S. The move is part of the DEA’s biannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The company noted that the full list of DEA Take Back Day location events can be found at: https://takebackday.dea.gov.

In the participating Walmart and Sam’s Club parking lots, law enforcement will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 24. The public can safely dispose their unwanted medications in these places.

Before the end of 2020, Walmart is planning to install in-pharmacy medication disposal kiosks in nearly 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations.

Further, for those who fill prescriptions for opioid medications, Walmart and Sam’s Club offer an at-home opioid disposal product, DisposeRx, free of cost in all pharmacies across the nation.

Walmart, citing the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, said that 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, and majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet.

Eagle Materials Q2 Profit Rises

Eagle Materials Inc. (EXP) reported Thursday that its second-quarter net earnings grew to $96.03 million from last year’s $71.79 million. Earnings per share were $2.31, up from $1.72 last year.

Earnings from continuing operations was $89.87 million or $2.16 per share, compared to $75.06 million or $1.80 per share a year ago.

The results included a non-recurring tax benefit of $5.9 million, or $0.14 per share.

Revenue for the quarter increased 12 percent to $447.68 million from last year’s $400.57 million.

On average, 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.85 per share on revenues of $445.68 million. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Lincoln Project Gives ‘Covey Spreader’ Trump The Honey Badger Treatment

The Lincoln Project put a new spin on an old viral sensation, giving President Donald Trump a makeover in the spirit of the viral honey badger video. 

Meet the Covey Spreader.

The conservative never-Trump organization even recruited the original voice of the honey badger video, known only as Randall, to depict the president and those around him as Covey Spreaders.

And Covey Spreader don’t care:

For good measure, here’s Randall’s original “Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger” video, which is closing in on 100 million views since its 2011 debut:

Gold Holds Steady Amid Virus Lockdowns

Gold prices held steady on Thursday after a big fall in the previous session to a one-month low.

Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,878.70 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,878.95.

The U.S. dollar rose against rivals amid concerns over surging coronavirus cases and uncertainty about the U.S. election outcome.

As coronavirus cases soar, some European governments including Germany and France are imposing drastic curbs on people’s daily lives.

The World Health Organization said for the second consecutive week, the European region accounted for the biggest proportion of new infections, with more than 1.3 million cases or about 46 percent of the worldwide total.

Less than a week before the U.S. presidential election, Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads U.S. President Donald Trump nationally, but there are eight swing states where the election could be won or lost.

Key focus is on the European Central Bank meeting later today, with investors looking for a dovish statement and hints at more asset purchases.

Earlier in the day, the Bank of Japan held its monetary policy steady, but trimmed its growth and price forecasts for the current fiscal year. The central bank made no changes to a package of steps aimed at easing corporate funding strains.

Eight core industries’ output contracts 0.8% in September

The decline in output during the month under review was lowest since March.

Contracting for the seventh consecutive month, the output of eight core infrastructure sectors dropped by 0.8% in September, mainly due to decline in production of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and cement.

The production of eight core sectors had contracted 5.1% in September 2019, data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry showed on Thursday.

The decline in output during the month under review was lowest since March.

Barring coal, electricity and steel, all sectors — crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser and cement — recorded negative growth in September 2020.

During April-September, the sectors’ output dropped by 14.9% as compared to a growth of 1.3% in the same period of the previous year.