Because of how the polls are trending, very few seem to be thinking about the fact that a Republican sweep of all three chambers of the government could happen. When you step away from the polls and think about the fact that Republicans currently control two of the three chambers, it becomes more realistic; and even more so when you consider that polls are likely skewed towards Democrats because of “silent” Republican supporters. If the Republicans sweep, or even just if Trump wins, then the sectors that will surge are energy, banks, healthcare, and defense. In particular, think names like Marathon Petroleum, Bank of America, Pfizer, and Northrop Grumman.
FINSUM: This may be unlikely, but it is not as wildly unrealistic as some make it sound. Perhaps smart to have a portion of the portfolio in these sectors headed into the election?
No matter which side of the aisle you are on, the last several weeks have not been great for the president’s reelection chances. While there are certainly a large portion of “silent” Trump supporters who will vote for him in November, the trends in the polls are not looking good. In particular, Trump seems to be losing ground in what is emerging as the biggest battleground of all—Florida. In 13 of the last 14 elections, the candidate who won Florida won the election. Based on how other key states are heading—Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin—it seems like Trump must win Florida to take the election. One Republican strategist in Florida said the trends in the state were not good, concluding that “Obviously the triple whammy of the virus, the pandemic-induced weak economy and the social unrest have taken a toll on President Trump’s poll numbers”.
FINSUM: Trump has strong support in much of the Latino community, which should help him. But his polls numbers for the state’s key 65+ population have been weak, seemingly as a result of the virus, which is working against him.
Twitter took a very big step in its ongoing confrontation with President Trump this week. Over the last couple of years, the social media site has taken some steps to block Trump tweets that were barred under its policies. However, yesterday it took what feels like a monumental step—it started putting warning signs and links on posts that it said contained misleading information. Trump has exploded in his response, saying he could shut down social media companies.
FINSUM: We are of two minds about this. On the one hand Twitter was founded as an alternative source of news and a way for people to express their opinions outside the filter that mainstream news provides. On the other hand, it does not seem right that various social media platforms are being used as unchecked fake-news propaganda machines by both parties.
New polls emerging show an interesting picture of how the November election may go. While Biden remains about 5 points ahead of Trump in national polls, what is more interesting is that he holds a 5-point lead in three of the most integral swing states—Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. That is critical because those are the states that trump won in 2016 in order to beat Hillary. If he doesn’t win those states this time around, the odds are very long for a Trump victory.
FINSUM: The state of the economy and the long lockdown seem to be weighing on Trump right now, but there is still six months to go, which is more than enough time for a big swing (in either direction).
COVID Loan Tracker, a site launched on April 8th to help small business owners track the progress of PPP and EIDL advance applications, has received a surge of responses. 1,100 American small business owners have given us details of their applications.
If you have not already, please fill out the survey here.
The aim of COVID Loan Tracker is to let small business owners know when PPP loans really start flowing, and to empower journalists with the data they need to help keep the government accountable.
So far, just six companies out of 1,100 report receiving PPP Loans. Their details are below.
1. LLC, Colorado, 155 employees, applied 4/5, received 4/7, received $1.6m, applied through small/regional bank, received 100% requested
2. S-Corp, Oklahoma, 1 employee, applied 4/2, received 4/9, received $20,700, applied through small/regional bank, received 100% requested
3. LLC, Texas, 38 employees, applied 4/3, received 4/9, received $244,000, applied through small/regional bank, received 100% requested
4. LLC, Utah, 2 employees, applied 4/3, received 4/9, received $7,200, applied through small/regional bank, received 24% requested
5. S-Corp, Arkansas, applied 4/3, received 4/9, received $49,900, applied through small/regional bank, received 100% requested
6. C-Corp, Michigan, applied 4/3, received 4/8, received $250,000, applied through small/regional bank, received 100% requested
Average time between application and payment is 5.3 days.
0.5% report receiving PPP Loans
>0.3% report receiving EIDL advances
15,000 employees reportedly at risk from responding companies
84% applied for >$250,000
12% for between $250,000 and $1,000,000
4% applied for $1m or more
49% applied through small/regional banks
17% applied through JP Morgan Chase
A lot of financial advisors are small business owners, and thousands of them are likely looking for the government’s Payment Protection Program assistance right now. As anyone involved in applying for the program knows, things have been very frustrating and uncertain, with that stress exacerbated by the fact that it is a first come-first serve program. However, there is some potential good news on the horizon. The White House and Senate leader Mitch McConnell are trying to get another $250 bn of loans approved by Congress, which would add to the $349 bn that is already being deployed (apparently it is already being deployed).
FINSUM: It appears as though demand is exceeding supply, so this additional funding is likely to be very necessary.