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COVID-19: Large supermarkets can let more than 50 people in, subject to strict guidelines – Vancouver Sun



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Larger supermarkets can allow more than 50 people inside as long as they follow strict guidelines, says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

In a prepared statement, Dr. Henry said that she had been contacted by employers in the retail food and grocery store sector asking for clarity about whether a recent Public Health Act order prohibiting mass gatherings of 50 or more people applied to them.

Specifically, the order prohibited “the gathering of people in excess of 50 people at a place of which a person is the owner, occupier or operator, or for which they are otherwise responsible.”

Noting that retail food and grocery stores were deemed and essential service, Dr. Henry said “While this order does not directly apply to the retail food and grocery industry, the spirit of the order should be followed. This means that, for example, in large grocery stores where it is feasible to have more than 50 people present at one time, it is permissible to do so provided that appropriate physical distancing can be maintained.”

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Oil Prices Leap Higher On Bullish Inventory Data –



Oil Prices Leap Higher On Bullish Inventory Data |

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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    Crude oil prices got another lift today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory draw of 4.5 million barrels for the week to August 7.

    At 514.1 million barrels, inventories remain above the five-year average for this time of the year despite several hefty weekly draws, including one of 7.4 million barrels for the first week of August. Analysts had expected the authority to report an inventory draw of 3.2 million barrels.

    The EIA report comes on the heels of the American Petroleum Institute’s weekly estimate, which saw inventories had shed 4.4 million barrels in the week to August 7, pushing prices higher.

    In gasoline, the EIA reported an inventory decline of 700,000 barrels for last week, compared with a moderate increase of 419,000 barrels for the previous week. Gasoline production last week increased, to 9.6 million barrels daily, from 9.3 million bpd a week earlier.

    In distillate fuels, the authority estimated an inventory draw of 2.3 million barrels for the week to August 7, which compared with a build of 1.6 million barrels for the previous week, Distillate fuel production stood at an average of 4.8 million bpd last week, compared with 4.9 million bpd a week earlier.

    Distillate fuel inventories have been slower than gasoline ones to come down and they remain high above the seasonal five-year average, Reuters’ John Kemp noted last week. At the time, distillate fuel inventories were close to 180 million barrels, the highest since the early 1980s, and 38 million barrels above the five-year average.

    Amid this buildup of distillates, caused in no small part to the still continuing depression in air travel, refineries processed 14.7 million barrels daily of crude oil last week. This was up slightly on the previous week, when refineries in the U.S. processed 14.6 million barrels of crude daily.

    Brent crude was trading at $45.22 a barrel at the time of writing, with West Texas Intermediate at $42.40 a barrel, both slightly up on Tuesday’s close.

    By Irina Slav for

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      Elon Musk Splits Stock, Makes Tesla's Case to Join Dow Jones – Motley Fool



      Like it or hate it, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has indisputably been one of the biggest success stories of the past decade. Since going public in 2010, Tesla’s stock has soared, and the electric vehicle manufacturer has defied industry naysayers by ramping up production and becoming the most valuable automaker on earth.

      Along with its stock price rise, Tesla has demonstrated its ability to perform financially and fundamentally. By becoming consistently profitable, Tesla is likely to join the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^SPX) in the near future. Yet by making a highly unexpected move on Aug. 11, CEO Elon Musk brought out his usual flair for the dramatic — and made his case for why Tesla should join the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI).

      Getting over the last speed bump in Tesla’s path to the Dow

      Until Tuesday, there was one seemingly insurmountable obstacle that would have made Tesla getting into the Dow Jones Industrials impossible. Its stock price of nearly $1,400 per share as of the Aug. 11 close would’ve made it an impractical choice to join the price-weighted average, because its influence over the entire Dow Jones Industrials would’ve been unjustifiably high. Even now, the fact that Apple has a nearly 11% weighting in the Dow is somewhat controversial, and that’s with Apple’s share price of just $450. The idea of having Tesla represent 30% was a complete nonstarter.

      Image source: Getty Images.

      Yet Musk surprised just about everyone by doing something that Tesla has never done before: splitting its stock. It announced a 5-for-1 split for owners of record on Aug. 21, with shares to start trading on a split-adjusted basis a week and a half later on Aug. 31.

      To be clear, Tesla’s board of directors didn’t explicitly say it’s trying to join the Dow. In its press release, the company cited the desire to “make stock ownership more accessible to employees and investors.” Yet with the advent of fractional share trading, that’s an increasingly difficult argument to make. And there’s no doubt that becoming one of the Dow 30 stocks would be a big ego boost for Musk.

      One might also see the choice of a 5-for-1 split as a testament to Musk’s vanity. Given the boost to the stock price Wednesday morning to nearly $1,500 per share, the 5-for-1 ratio would put Tesla shares around $300 after the split takes effect. That would make Tesla the third-most influential stock in the Dow behind only Apple and UnitedHealth Group and give the electric car maker about a 7% weighting in the average.

      Why Tesla in the Dow isn’t a crazy proposition

      With its share-price problem solved, the case for Tesla joining the Dow is compelling:

      • The Dow has been without a car company for more than a decade after going through most of its history with at least one.
      • Tesla’s market capitalization of more than $250 billion puts it in the upper third of current Dow components.
      • Its exposure to solar energy would also add to the Dow’s breadth, complementing the two large oil companies currently among its ranks. Its other adjacent industrial applications would similarly boost the average’s industrial origins.

      The best argument against Tesla joining the Dow is that it’s a relatively new company. Most of the current members of the Dow have long pedigrees dating back for decades. Yet the move wouldn’t be unprecedented. Microsoft had only been publicly traded for 13 years before it joined the average, and Visa got into the Dow in 2013, just five years after its 2008 IPO.

      It’s Dow Jones’ move

      Other than that, the big uncertainty about Tesla joining the Dow comes largely from the fact that there aren’t any obvious candidates to get kicked out to make way for the automaker. Although some companies have low share prices that give them insignificant influence over the overall Dow, their fundamental businesses are still solid.

      Nevertheless, the ball is now in the court of Dow manager S&P Dow Jones Indices to decide what to do next. If a vacancy comes up in the Dow Jones Industrials, investors should expect Tesla to get a close look, thanks to Elon Musk’s decision to split the stock.

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      After record rally, gold prices tumble as dollar strengthens –



      Gold prices have fallen below the $1,900-an-ounce level and headed for their biggest two-day drop in more than seven years as a resurgent United States dollar prompted investors to reassess their positions after a record-breaking rally.

      Spot gold – the price of the metal right now as opposed to sometime in the future – declined by as much as 2 percent to a near three-week low of $1,872.19 on Wednesday, resuming its free fall after a brief hiatus in early trade.

      It was down 1.1 percent to $1,889.59 by 03:30 GMT, extending losses after a 6 percent plunge on Tuesday. US gold futures slid 2.4 percent to $1,900.

      Silver also joined the slide, falling 2.8 percent to $24.11 per ounce after a 15 percent slump in the previous session.

      The yen fell 0.24 percent to 106.76 per US dollar, its lowest level since July 24. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar extended a bounce made last Friday as US-China tensions ratcheted higher with President Donald Trump’s ban on China-based mobile apps TikTok and WeChat. It last stood at 93.846.

      Investors tend to buy gold and silver during periods of rising economic uncertainty but switch to riskier assets such as stocks when they see signs of stability and growth.

      “It looks like some of the euphoria is coming out of the gold market,” with prices possibly heading to about $1,800, IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said. “A lot hinges on US [Treasury bond] yields and the factors driving them at the moment. Also, the dollar’s strength will be something very important to watch over the next few days and weeks.”

      A jump in US Treasury yields helped the dollar extend its winning streak, making gold more expensive for those holding other currencies. Higher bond yields also increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which does not give investors any yield.


      Benchmark US Treasury yields have climbed more than 10 basis points so far this month, amid improving risk appetite and an imminent flood of new bond issuance. The recent rebound reflects investor hopes that the coronavirus will be contained following Russia’s coronavirus vaccine announcement, analysts said.

      “Optimism over possible tax relief, further economic stimulus in the US, positive economic data elsewhere and news of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine appears to have prompted investors to pull money from safe havens and put these into riskier assets,” said commodities strategists Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao of Dutch bank ING in a research note sent to Al Jazeera.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday his country had become the first to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing. The vaccine has, however, not yet completed its final trials.

      Golden rebound?

      But growing uncertainty about a US economic stimulus deal between Republicans and Democrats weighed on Asian stocks on Wednesday, possibly limiting the fall in gold prices.

      Bullion’s gains for the year now stand at about 25 percent, as investors bought the metal as a hedge against a coronavirus-driven global slowdown and fears of currency weakness as central banks flood the economy with money to ease the blow.

      “We can expect [bond] yields to rise further on expectations of a US aid package, which may pressure [gold] prices for the short-term,” said Tapan Patel, a senior analyst at HDFC Securities Ltd. But the correction may be short-lived, with bullion finding support amid slower economic growth.

      “Higher US healthcare costs and the expansion of [central bank] balance sheets will continue to support gold prices over the longer term,” he added.

      With central bank policies likely to remain “loose for the foreseeable future,” gold could move back towards $2,000, said ING’s Patterson.

      Platinum lost 1 percent to $920.86 and palladium eased 0.4 percent to $2,082.90.

      Al Jazeera and news agencies

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