Good morning, it's Paul here. No silliness in today's preamble. Just to reassure readers who posted concerned comments yesterday about me naming & shaming a young lady in Bournemouth - relax, as I made up the name!

Please see the header for company announcements I'll be covering today.

Estimated finishing time - today's report should be largely done by 1pm. Edit at 12:57 - Today's report is now finished.

Here are a few interesting news items that have caught my eye, together with my comments;

CNBC reporting that 40% of S&P 500 companies have withdrawn profit guidance for 2020. (Paul: how can market be so buoyant, when so many large companies cannot predict their trading this year? Risk that markets may not be properly factoring in potentially very bad 2020 figures. We need to treat all UK broker forecasts as probably far too optimistic, unless a company has specifically confirmed it is trading in line. In fact, I'm basically ignoring broker forecasts right now, as they're largely defunct - a very unsatisfactory situation. Just because it's difficult to predict, doesn't mean you should stop trying, if that's your job!)

Walmart reported strong sales, but it's incurring higher costs, e.g. additional cleaning, and staffing costs. (Paul: so even businesses that are trading well during the crisis, could see a squeeze on profits)

Chancellor of Exchequer has made ill-advised comments in a committee hearing - does he not realise these are televised? He described the UK as facing, "a severe recession, the likes of which we haven't seen". (Paul: if that's what our top finance man in Govt thinks, then we should be very worried, and cautious, in my view)

Air travel - proposals being mooted for "air bridges" - i.e. reciprocal arrangements with other countries which are seeing low covid levels. (Paul: could be why Dart (LON:DTG) shares shot up yesterday?). Also, the UK 14-day quarantine period being introduced apparently will not have an exemption for France. I've no idea why it has taken so long to introduce this measure, when it was needed a couple of months ago.

Vaccine - news from $MRNS about its success in early stage covid vaccine trials, which is reckoned to have triggered the Dow's 900 point rise yesterday, is apparently not so exciting after all. US markets gave back about a third of yesterday's gains.

CLBILS (Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan…

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