Roundup: Rig count drops / Latter and Blum / Cloud computing

    Leading indicator: The number of operating U.S. oil and gas rigs plummeted by 44 this week, according to the Baker Hughes rig count. The count is seen as a leading indicator of oil and gas production activity in the U.S. The number of operating rigs in the U.S. is now 728, The Houston Chronicle reports. U.S. operators have shed 77 rigs in 2020, after an already steep dropoff in activity in 2019. Last year, the rig count dropped by more than 25%. A year ago this week, there were 1,006 operating oil and gas rigs in the U.S. Read the full report. 

    Real estate data: Forewarn LLC, a Florida-based provider of information solutions for real estate agents, today announced that Latter & Blum Inc. has contracted to make its services available to all 1,200-plus real estate agents throughout the New Orleans, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Houma/Thibodaux areas. Forewarn’s software allows real estate agents to analyze property data points and verify potential clients’ identity, criminal histories and backgrounds.   

    Big winner: Cloud-computing providers are emerging as among the few corporate winners in the coronavirus pandemic as office and store closures across the U.S. have pushed more activity online, The Wall Street Journal reports. The remote data storage and processing services provided by Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others have become the essential link for many people to remain connected with work and families, or just to unwind. Read the full story. 

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