One day after Goldman made a stunning announcement, casting doubt on the future of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency (as it raised its gold price target from $2,000 to $2,300), the most influential investment bank appears to have made an even bigger splash with what appears to be a call for a peak in US cases.
In its daily coronavirus tracker, the bank's chief economist Jan Hatzius writes that "new confirmed coronavirus cases are beginning to fall in an increasing number of states, and prevalence of COVID-like symptoms is decreasing in most states" which prompted the encouraging conclusion that "the US may be at the start of a sustained downward trajectory of virus spread."
As Hatzius further notes, "the states with the largest virus outbreaks over the past several weeks continue to improve." Specifically, cases are now declining on a 14-day basis in Arizona, Florida, Texas, California, and South Carolina, and although available hospital capacity declined to very low levels in some regions of these states, government officials did not order sweeping lockdown measures.
Yet while that is clearly great news for the US - and comes just as the number of new cases in China is once again spiking - the country is not out of the woods just yet. As Goldman concludes, although these states (and many others) are now improving by some measures, a major factor in determining state reopening and consumer activity will likely be the level of new confirmed cases, not just the trajectory. Here, after several weeks of increased virus spread, nearly 80% of the US is currently in a state with an elevated level of at least 100 per new daily cases per million residents.
The bottom line: "although the virus situation may be improving, the degrees of reopening and consumer activity may still increase slowly until case levels are significantly lower."
In any case, the fact that US cases may have plateaued - according to Goldman - at a time when China is facing its latest spike in new covid cases...
... means that the political narrative is about to shift dramatically in the coming days.