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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Expectations for U.S. stock earnings in the first quarter are the lowest since the global financial crisis, and may suffer more than global peers this year.

What's happening: Blended estimates imply a -13.7% decline in S&P 500 earnings, while in Europe, Japan and emerging markets the fall has been much bigger, "of the order of -31 to -34%," Deutsche Bank research analysts write in a note to clients.

But, but, but: Having been hit earlier by the coronavirus outbreak, companies in Europe, Japan and emerging Asia are on pace to deliver horrific Q1 numbers but are expected to see better earnings than the U.S. as the year progresses.

  • "Since earnings season began, the bottom-up analyst consensus has downgraded earnings for Q2 and for 2020 as a whole by more for the US (-10.5%) than it has for Europe (-8.8%) and EM (-7.6%)," Deutsche's chief global strategist Binky Chadha and other top strategists note.
  • "For EM, led by China, the bottom up consensus sees earnings as having already bottomed in Q1, with a strong rebound expected in Q4 this year."

Watch this space: As earnings have tumbled, U.S. companies' price-to-earnings ratios have soared to near the highest since the dot-com bubble burst.

  • The S&P's 12-month forward P/E ratio has risen to 20.4, well above its five-, 10- and 20-year averages and the highest since 2001, but still below a peak of 23.4 touched in September 2000, according to FactSet data.

Go deeper: States face economic death spiral from coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Coronavirus hotspots keep improving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. continues to slow, driven by significant progress in the South and Southwest, where cases skyrocketed earlier this summer.

Why it matters: All of the second-order controversies consuming the U.S. — like whether to open schools for in-person instruction — would be easier to resolve if we could get the virus under control and keep it there.

Aug 20, 2020 - World

Coronavirus helps drive Sweden death tally to highest in 151 years

The scene in central Stockholm in May during the pandemic. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden recorded its highest death tally since 1869 in the first half of 2020 — and COVID-19 pushed the toll 10% higher than the average for the period over the past five years.

Why it matters: The figures released by government agency Statistics Sweden Wednesday showing 51,405 people died from January to June coincide with the country taking a more relaxed approach to the pandemic. Schools and businesses have remained open and the nation took a "herd immunity" approach.

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