Live Stock Market News During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Stocks on Wall Street erased their losses for the year, a remarkable milestone for a market that was reeling just a few months ago as investors feared the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 rose more than 1 percent on Monday, adding to a weekslong rebound that has been fueled by hopes for a quick economic recovery, significant intervention by the Federal Reserve and a disregard for the serious risks that businesses and consumers still face.

A familiar list of companies has been leading the recent gains. Airlines have been lifted by signs that domestic travel is starting to pick up, and they rallied again on Monday along with Boeing. With oil prices rebounding, crude briefly crossed above $40 a barrel on Monday for the first time in months. Energy companies have also surged.

Stocks have been on an upward trajectory for weeks as investors have responded to signs around the world that the virus was abating. New York, the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, on Monday began to lift some restrictions on construction, manufacturing and retail operations.

Progress like that, and early evidence that it means people are returning to work, helped fuel a nearly 5 percent gain in the S&P 500 last week — its biggest weekly run since early April. But the market’s rebound really began in March, after the Federal Reserve signaled its willingness to funnel unlimited amounts of liquidity into financial markets. Since then, stocks have risen more than 44 percent.

Investors have plenty of reasons to be wary, of course: A second wave of the coronavirus outbreak that forces governments to clamp down on public activity again, a premature end to government spending or a slower-than-expected return of business could all dampen enthusiasm for stocks.

Analysts often refer to recessions as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit group that tracks economic cycles in the United States, formally determines when recessions begin and end based on a range of factors, most importantly gross domestic product and employment. Most economists expect that this recession will be both deep and short, with growth rebounding as state economies reopen and the world figures out how to function amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions,” the bureau said in a statement.

Globally, “this is almost certainly the deepest recession” since at least the Second World War, Jan Hatzius, Goldman Sachs chief economist, wrote in a note on Monday. But it is also probably the shortest: He noted that the bureau’s database showed no other recession that had lasted less than six months in records dating back to the mid-1800s.

The industrial conglomerate 3M filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court in California on Monday, alleging price-gouging and bait-and-switch sales of 3M respirators from third-party Amazon sellers.

The complaint claims that three third-party sellers — all believed to be owned and operated by a California resident named Mao Yu — began in late February to sell what were advertised to be 3M-branded N95 masks on Amazon. The sellers charged for roughly 18 times 3M’s $1.27 list price for the respirators. Buyers spent more than $350,000 for such masks, and sometimes received fewer masks than promised or masks that were damaged or tampered with, according to the suit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

“By selling and delivering to customers counterfeit, damaged, deficient, or otherwise altered respirators and engaging in price-gouging, Defendants caused irreparable damage to 3M’s reputation,” the suit states.

The defendants in the case could not be reached for comment.

3M, based in a suburb of Saint Paul, Minn., has filed 12 other such suits as part of an effort to combat fraud, price-gouging and counterfeiting tied its respirators and other high-demand health products as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The nation’s largest airlines are preparing for a limited rebound next month as more Americans book vacations in places like Florida and the mountains and national parks in the West.

Now researchers say more targeted approaches might have protected public health with less economic pain.

A study of New York City found that the economic cost could have been reduced by a third or more by strategically choosing neighborhoods to close, calibrating the risk of infection for local residents and workers with the impact on local jobs.

  • Updated June 5, 2020

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


“The blunt instrument of a uniform policy causes more economic and related health harm than is necessary to accomplish the same goal of not increasing infections,” said John Birge, a mathematician at the University of Chicago who was an author of the study.

Other researchers are taking on the problem by assessing the relative level of risk posed by different businesses.

Businesses in New York City, where an initial phase of reopening began on Monday, have been mostly shut down for 11 weeks.

With daily deaths abating in New York and many other parts of the country, and cities and states easing lockdowns, researchers are beginning to assess alternative strategies to manage the spread of the virus.

As some of the wealthiest health care companies in the United States received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to help them cope with lost revenue from the pandemic, they laid off or cut the pay of tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and lower-paid workers, while continuing to pay their top executives millions.

The New York Times analyzed tax and securities filings by 60 of the country’s largest hospital chains, which together have received more than $15 billion in emergency funds through the economic stimulus package in the federal CARES Act.

The hospitals — including publicly traded juggernauts like HCA and Tenet Healthcare, elite nonprofits like the Mayo Clinic, and regional chains with thousands of beds — are collectively sitting on tens of billions of dollars of cash reserves that are supposed to help them weather an unanticipated storm. And together, they awarded the five highest-paid officials at each chain about $874 million in the most recent year for which they have disclosed their finances.

At least 36 of those hospital chains have laid off, furloughed or reduced the pay of employees as they try to save money during the pandemic.

More than a dozen workers at the wealthy hospitals said in interviews that their employers had put the heaviest financial burdens on front-line staff, including low-paid cafeteria workers, janitors and nursing assistants. They said pay cuts and furloughs made it even harder for medical workers to do their jobs, forcing them to treat more patients in less time.

Credit…Guerin Blask for The New York Times

In the past week, it has seemed like every major company has publicly condemned racism. All-black squares cover corporate Instagram. Executives have made multimillion-dollar pledges to anti-discrimination efforts and programs to support black businesses.

Yet many of the same companies expressing solidarity have contributed to systemic inequality, targeted the black community with unhealthy products and services, and failed to hire, promote and fairly compensate black men and women, David Gelles writes.

“Corporate America has failed black America,” said Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation and a member of the board of Pepsi, and who is black. “Even after a generation of Ivy League educations and extraordinary talented African-Americans going into corporate America, we seem to have hit a wall.”

With dozens of cities protesting the violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, a national conversation about racism is underway. For black executives, who have spent their lives excelling at business while overcoming structural discrimination, the killings and ensuing protests have unleashed an outpouring of emotion. Many are speaking candidly about their private fears, as well as their disappointment with the corporate apparatus that made them stars.

Robert F. Smith, a private equity billionaire and the richest black man in America, said he had been overwhelmed by conflicting feelings. “I am saddened, I am angry, I am upset and I am determined,” he said. “I run through that wave of emotions every minute.”

  • Dunkin’ Donuts said on Monday that it planned to hire up to 25,000 new workers at its franchises to deal with an influx of customers as states start to reopen. Dunkin’, which has 8,500 restaurants in the United States, said about 90 percent of its locations were now open.

  • BP said Monday that it planned to eliminate 10,000 jobs — nearly 15 percent of the company’s total work force — with most cuts coming by the end of the year. The company’s chief executive, Bernard Looney, said in a companywide email that the cuts were needed to stem losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic as well as to create a leaner company to achieve his ambitions to sharply reduce BP’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Reporting was contributed by Niraj Chokshi, Eduardo Porter, Peter Eavis, Jeanna Smialek, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Jesse Drucker, David Enrich, Patricia Cohen, Stanley Reed, Ben Casselman, Jason Karaian, Jack Ewing, David Gelles, Ann Carrns, Matt Phillips, Paul Sullivan, Carlos Tejada, Katie Robertson and Kevin Granville.



Sahred From Source link World News

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