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What to expect for second-quarter earnings season; H2 2020 outlook

Betty Liu, Executive Vice Chairman for NYSE Group, provides her perspective:

What are analysts expecting, going to the second quarter earnings season?

So, this earnings season has just started this past week, you saw banks kick off their reports. And as you can well imagine, analyst estimates are pretty much all over the place. And part of that is because a good number of companies did not provide guidance. Now, according to some estimates, some analysts estimates, we could see an earnings season decline or earnings decline as much as 44% this time around. That would be one of the biggest declines since 2008, the prior crisis.

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Why Stocks Climb During Bad Economy News

In this pandemic environment, why are stocks climbing when news about the economy isn't good?

I've actually been getting that question a lot. And look, nobody really knows why stock markets move the way they do in real time. But there's a variety of factors why we've seen stock market rallies these days. So, one is improving investor sentiment that some of the government measures to stabilize the economy are working. And the other one is something you saw on Monday, when the Dow rose more than 900 points, there was some news out about a potential coronavirus vaccine. Some positive preliminary results on that experimental trial. So, that helped also improve investor sentiment.

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What is going on between the WHO, the US and China?

What is going on between the WHO, the US and China?

We need someone to blame for this virus crisis, right? Trump will be elected or not in November on the back of well over 100,000 deaths, horrible economic performance and unemployment. No real bounce seen before November. Probably a second wave just before elections, given the seasonality of the virus. Which means you've got to blame China, the World Health Organization. And that means the Americans threatening to pull out of the organization as a whole, saying that they're doing lifting for China and also demanding investigation, as are other countries, of China for how they handled the initial outbreak of the disease. I am much more sympathetic to calls about Chinese responsibility because it's clear they did mishandle and did cover up the early days of this virus. The Chinese are saying they're only prepared to accept an investigation after the crisis is over. The WHO is saying that's three to five years from now. I agree on the time frame. Don't agree that that would be an appropriate way to handling it. A lot of countries around the world, particularly allies of the United States, are increasingly putting pressure on China. Big trade dust-up between the Chinese and the Australians as a consequence. Not directed by the United States, which is interesting. Australia did that all by themselves.

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Technological Revolution & Surveillance in the COVID-19 Era

Are we in the middle of a technological revolution?

Yes? I feel like a technological revolution should feel more empowering and exciting. It should feel like something good as opposed to something catastrophic. But if you define it as a moment when there's a lot of technological change that will last for years or decades, yes. Think about the way that health, education, working from home are going to change. There are lots of inventions right now because of coronavirus that will stick with us.

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Ian Bremmer: US response to COVID-19 is mediocre

I continue to see incredible polarization: the United States is a hot mess, a disaster, vs no, best response ever, depending on what side of the political agenda you're on. I think that the US response so far, continues to be mediocre.

The big story: people dying. Trump should not have been a cheerleader. He said less than 100,000 would be great. Now, even the most conservative model the US government is using is now expecting 147,000 deaths by August. Well over 150,000 by election day. Trump will say, if I had done nothing, we would have 2.2 million deaths, framing for advertising. But it's hard to sell that.

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