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Westlake Legal Group > Stocks and Bonds

Live Stock Market Today Coverage: Coronavirus Crisis

Westlake Legal Group merlin_169688598_200bbca6-f6a7-405b-830c-8eeb6559aa9d-facebookJumbo Live Stock Market Today Coverage: Coronavirus Crisis United States Economy Stocks and Bonds Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China British Airways PLC

European and Asian markets tumbled on Friday, and U.S. futures pointed to a continuing sell-off on Wall Street, as investors continued to worry about the potential harm to worldwide economic growth from the coronavirus outbreak.

The slide in Asia and Europe followed a 4.4 percent nose-dive in the S&P 500 index on Thursday, the worst day for American shares since 2011.

  • In Europe on Friday, the FTSE 100 in Britain fell 3.7 percent, and the DAX in Germany fell 4.3 percent.

  • In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed down 3.7 percent, the KOSPI in South Korea dropped 3.3 percent and the Shanghai Composite in China dropped 3.7 percent.

  • Oil prices continued a lurching drop, reflecting decreased demand as factories and transportation slow down. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell as low as $50.05 a barrel. It was above $71 in early January.

Investment bank economists issued increasingly glum predictions of how much the coronavirus outbreak would hurt economies around the world. More than 83,000 people in at least 53 countries have been infected.

More new infections are now being reported daily outside China, where the disease first appeared, than inside the country.

The spread of the virus is starting to affect normal operations at global companies.

  • On Friday, Baker McKenzie, the law firm based in Chicago, shut its London office, which houses about 1,000 people, after a potential coronavirus case. “Our priority is the health and well-being of our people and our clients,” the firm said. “We have asked our London office employees to work from home for the time being while we are taking precautionary measures.”

  • The airline group IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, said that it expected earnings to be weaker because of the virus, but that it could not give accurate profit guidance for the year because of the uncertainty of the situation.

  • The Global Business Travel Association said that nearly two-thirds of the members it surveyed had canceled meetings and that most companies in Asia had put a hold on business trips in the region. “It is fundamentally affecting the way many companies are now doing business,” said Scott Solombrino, the group’s chief operating officer and executive director. “If this turns into a global pandemic, the industry may well lose billions of dollars.”

The effect on global corporations could increase the chance of a broader economic slowdown, according to analysts.

“The more countries that are faced with fighting a pandemic, the wider the potential for economic disruption and potential for increased recessionary risks,” Tai Hui, the chief market strategist for Asia at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said in a research note on Friday.

Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Rich Profits and Dark Messages From the Market (No, Not That Market)

Westlake Legal Group 27STRATEGIES-01-facebookJumbo Rich Profits and Dark Messages From the Market (No, Not That Market) United States Economy Subprime Mortgage Crisis Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Recession and Depression International Trade and World Market Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Credit and Debt Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The news is gloomy for stock investors. Shares have been plummeting as traders absorb the latest information about the coronavirus’s spread around the world.

Most commodity markets have been miserable too, with the prices of oil, gas, coal and copper falling relentlessly.

But if you focus on the bond market — which doesn’t dominate the headlines but is much bigger than the global stock market — you will get a different and more complex picture. And if you own bonds, they have probably been growing rapidly in value.

The reasons for these paper profits are disconcerting. The bond market isn’t merely reacting to the coronavirus: It is reflecting a perception that the global economy was vulnerable long before the disease emerged, because financial markets have never fully recovered from the last financial crisis.

David Rosenberg has been tracking the bond market for decades. He is now the chief economist of his own firm, Rosenberg Research. Until 2009, he was chief North American economist for Merrill Lynch, and he takes a very long view. “If you had told me a decade ago that bond yields would be this low now, it would have been shocking,” he said.

“Basically,” he added, “interest rates have never returned to where they were before the last recession. They’ve kept dropping. We’ve been in a long secular bull market for bonds, and it’s not over yet, not by a long shot. Rates are going lower.”

I think he’s probably right. Which means that it’s likely you can make more money in bonds, even at this late stage of a decades-long rally.

  • Answers to your most common questions:

    Updated Feb. 26, 2020

    • What is a coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The C.D.C. has warned older and at-risk travelers to avoid Japan, Italy and Iran. The agency also has advised against all nonessential travel to South Korea and China.
    • Where has the virus spread?
      The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 80,000 people in at least 33 countries, including Italy, Iran and South Korea.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is probably transmitted through sneezes, coughs and contaminated surfaces. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have been working with officials in China, where growth has slowed. But this week, as confirmed cases spiked on two continents, experts warned that the world was not ready for a major outbreak.

But it also means that we are living in a strange new world, one in which financial markets are being stretched in ways that scarcely could have been comprehended a decade ago.

The headlines have focused on the cascading losses in the stock market over the last week or so. But that’s not been the case for bonds.

To the contrary, it has been a time to reap astounding profits from bond holdings. And for buy-and-hold investors who have kept both stocks and bonds, it has been a reminder that those boring bonds can offset painful stock losses, making it easier to hang on for the long run.

Consider these numbers:

Through Wednesday, a fund that tracked the investment-grade long-term U.S. bond market — the Vanguard Long-Term Bond ETF — generated an 8.1 percent return so far this year. But in the same stretch, a fund that tracked the S&P 500 stock index — the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, or SPY — fell 2.9 percent, according to Morningstar.

Long-term bonds have also outstripped stocks over the last 12 months. In that period, the stock fund returned 14 percent in the 12 months through Wednesday, but the long-term bond fund gained more than 26 percent, a staggering return for an asset category often thought of as dull.

Bond prices have risen sky-high because they move in the opposite direction of interest rates. And rates for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note have dropped to levels that have never been seen before. On Thursday morning, for example, the rate for the 10-year note dropped as low as 1.24 percent. Mr. Rosenberg expects that it will fall even further.

The bond market has been conveying truly disturbing messages, not just about the current state of the economy but about the world’s inability to recover entirely from the last recession and our vulnerability when the next one comes.

Recall the downturn set off more than a decade ago by the global financial crisis. That recession started in the United States in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, according to the official arbiters at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The ensuing economic recovery has been the longest in American history, yet it has been one of the feeblest as well. One indication of that can be seen in the bond market right now. Interest rates typically fall when the economy is weak but then rise, along with inflation, in periods of rip-roaring growth. But that is not the pattern we’ve seen over the last 10 years.

Both the short-term rates controlled by the Federal Reserve and the longer-term rates determined by the bond market did drop sharply, during and after the last financial crisis. But since then, inflation has remained low, the rate of economic growth has been modest and interest rates have never returned even close to their prerecession levels.

The 10-year Treasury note in 2007 was as high as 4.85 percent, Treasury data shows. It hasn’t been much above 3 percent in the last five years. And the federal funds rate, the short-term interest rate set by the Federal Reserve, reached 5.25 percent in 2006. It rose to only 2.5 percent in 2018 and 2019, and now is in the 1.5 to 1.75 percent range, according to the Fed.

The United States has entered dangerous territory, a paper published last month by the Federal Reserve emphasized. The paper, written by the Fed economist Michael Kiley, says that the current low level of rates will cause severe policy dilemmas when the next recession actually hits.

Historically, interest rates tend to decline significantly during recessions and for two years afterward, Mr. Kiley wrote. But with rates as low as they are now, he said, “simple arithmetic” shows that in a recession, both short-term interest rates and those for bonds will approach zero — or even be negative. That, he says, will bring the “U.S. experience closer to that seen in Europe and Japan,” where many long-term bonds are already paying negative interest.

As I wrote several years ago, this amounts to the kind of proposition expected from gangsters: Hand me your money, watch me skim off some of it and you get what’s left later. Yet it’s become commonplace in the global bond market.

That might not happen in the United States, Mr. Rosenberg said, because of “legal and logistical constraints.”

“Negative rates are a tax on money,” he said, “and it’s one thing to have them in Japan and Germany, but something else entirely when you’re talking about the world’s reserve currency, the dollar.”

Essentially, with negative rates, people would be paying money for the privilege of sheltering their funds in the United States bond market. Could that happen? We may soon find out, as interest rates drop during the coronavirus crisis, which appears to be sapping economic growth around the world.

A recession will come sooner or later. Whether we are seeing the beginnings of one now or just a precursor of an eventual downturn is impossible to know. But bonds are not merely providing a comfort for investors. They are issuing a warning of even more difficult times ahead.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Global Stocks Continue to Slide on Coronavirus Concerns

Westlake Legal Group 27MARKETS2-facebookJumbo Global Stocks Continue to Slide on Coronavirus Concerns Stocks and Bonds Government Bonds Futures and Options Trading Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Futures on Wall Street on Thursday pointed to a sixth straight day of losses as the impact from the coronavirus outbreaks continued to scare investors.

Financial markets continued their declines in Asia and Europe.

Here’s the latest:

  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 in Britain, the CAC 40 in France and the DAX in Germany were all trading more than 2.5 percent lower.

  • In Asia, stocks in Japan fell more than 2 percent. Shares in China bucked the general trend, with Shanghai rising 0.1 percent.

  • Oil prices also fell, with the price of the international benchmark, Brent crude, dropping more than 2 percent. The price of gold rose, signaling continued nervousness among global investors.

  • Investors looking for safer places to put money have piled into government bonds, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to record lows.

  • The outbreak has taken a toll on multinational companies. Microsoft on Wednesday said its sales in the current quarter would be lower because of a disruption to its supply chain. On Thursday, Anheuser-Busch InBev joined the chorus, as the brewer forecast a steep drop in quarterly profit.

  • Companies have also scaled back their travel. The French cosmetics giant L’Oreal suspended all business travel for its 80,000 employees until the end of March. Nestlé, the giant Swiss-based food company, said it would suspend all international business trips for its 290,000 workers until mid-March.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Stocks to Take With You to the Bunker

Westlake Legal Group merlin_151320933_35564f33-42a9-4246-af23-97203bfb8d62-facebookJumbo Stocks to Take With You to the Bunker Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Canned soup? Check. Frozen french fries? Check. Disinfecting wipes? Check.

Your portfolio is prepped for an outbreak.

The spread of coronavirus outside China hammered stock markets to start the week as investors feared the epidemic could paralyze parts of Europe and the United States and starkly raise the risk of a recession.

The two-day sell-off that started the week lopped 6.3 percent off the S&P 500 and wiped out $1.7 trillion in paper wealth. It was the worst two-day decline since 2015.

On Wednesday, the S&P dropped again, but only less than half a percent.

It’s hard to remember that just a week ago, the stock market was sitting at record highs, seemingly pooh-poohing the prospect that the outbreak, as bad as it was in China, posed a global economic threat.

Now, thanks to daily postcards from the virus’s travels around the world, investors have abruptly come around to the view that the outbreak is nowhere near finished. Monday was the stock market’s worst day in over two years, with the S&P 500 falling 3.4 percent.

  • Answers to your most common questions:

    Updated Feb. 26, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The C.D.C. has warned older and at-risk travelers to avoid Japan, Italy and Iran. The agency also has advised against all non-essential travel to South Korea and China.
    • Where has the virus spread?
      The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 80,000 people in at least 33 countries, including Italy, Iran and South Korea.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is probably transmitted through sneezes, coughs and contaminated surfaces. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      The World Health Organization officials have been working with officials in China, where growth has slowed. But this week, as confirmed cases spiked on two continents, experts warned that the world is not ready for a major outbreak.

And even the stocks that went up were a downer.

Clorox, best known for its bleach and disinfecting wipes, rose 1.6 percent. The company is up 6.8 percent this month alone, outperforming the S&P 500 by 10 percentage points.

Campbells Soup — which also makes Pepperidge Farm cookies and Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels — managed to climb during the day on Monday, although it has since joined the market’s march lower.

And Lamb Weston Holdings, which makes frozen foods like crinkle-cut fries, onion rings and Cheddar cheese-stuffed jalapeños, is another rare positive, up 1.4 percent in February.

You don’t have to be a Wall Street analyst to get the message: Investors are betting that sales for these firms will rise as Americans prepare for an outbreak that government officials have stated is just a matter of time. Consumers contemplating a self-quarantine might want to have some of the products these companies make on hand, along with the medical masks that are already making a fashion statement from New York to Milan.

Betting on stress-hoarding of Mint Milanos may be a smart move. But the prices of other stocks also reflect the thinking of investors who have been dumping riskier investments in favor of longstanding safety plays.

MarketAxess, a bond trading platform, has slipped only slightly this week, making it a comparative overperformer. Investors are gobbling up government bonds: 10-year Treasury notes have surged in price — pushing yields, which move in the opposite direction, to panicky record lows.

Prices for gold, viewed by some as a store of value and a place nervous Chinese investors like to wait out a storm, have also risen. The gold miner Newmont Mining has had a great February: Its stock is up nearly 10 percent.

Fortunately, there is at least one stock that is up for optimistic reasons: Gilead Sciences, whose drug, remdesivir, is now in a clinical trial as a possible treatment for the virus. The pharmaceutical company’s share price has surged roughly 18 percent this month.

Stock investors tend to look on the bright side. In their worldview, the economy almost always grows. Profits rise. Share prices climb. And inevitably, they get richer.

They are also prone to wild mood swings, as their sunny exuberance periodically gives way to extreme fear.

Many market analysts argue that fear is a healthy ingredient in any market. And they bemoan the fact that it has been in short supply over the last nearly 11 years, as the stock market has climbed almost continuously — one of the longest stretches of growth on record.

Thanks to the coronavirus, fear is back. It’s the medical masks that are hard to find.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Stock Market Jitters Persist After Wall Street’s Worst Drop in 2 Years

Westlake Legal Group 25markets-1-facebookJumbo Stock Market Jitters Persist After Wall Street’s Worst Drop in 2 Years Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Epidemics Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Stocks in the United States were unsteady on Tuesday, a day after concerns that the spreading coronavirus would hit global growth prompted Wall Street’s worst decline in two years.

Investors in the United States and abroad have been trying to gauge the extent of the coronavirus outbreak and its potential impact on the world’s economy. As they faced evidence that the outbreak is spreading outside of China, those traders reacted on Monday by pushing the S&P 500 down 3.4 percent, its worst single-day performance since February 2018. European markets recorded their worst session since 2016.

On Tuesday, that selling moderated somewhat. The S&P 500 drifted from positive to negative territory in early trading and shares fell in Europe and Asia.

Investors could face more wild rides as the coronavirus outbreak spreads further, crimping consumer demand and snarling the world’s supply chains. UBS said on Tuesday that it was recommending investors switch to emerging-market stocks, and warned that holding shares in European companies presented a particular danger.

“The emergence of a large number of new cases in Italy has materially increased the risk of a sharp drop in consumer and business confidence in Europe, and potentially North America too if more cases are confirmed there in the coming days,” Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer at UBS’s global wealth management operations, said in an investment report.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

Trading in government bonds continued to reflect those concerns. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stood at 1.37 percent early on Tuesday, near its record-low closing of 1.36, a level touched back in July 2016.

Falling yields can reflect broad-based expectations that growth will weaken.

President Trump, traveling in New Delhi on Tuesday, joked with business leaders that their investments in the United States had made them a lot of money “except for yesterday,” noting the market drop, according to a pool report. Mentioning the coronavirus outbreak, he said, “We think we’re in very good shape in the United States.”

New outbreaks of the virus in Europe, Asia and the Middle East are renewing fears of a coming global pandemic. Market analysts in recent days have issued new warnings that the outbreak could drag down economies around the globe.

Economists at JPMorgan Chase wrote that they expected global growth to slow to a 1 percent annual pace in the first three months of the year, which would be the weakest quarter of the economic expansion that is now more than a decade long. In the United States, the general estimate for first-quarter domestic growth has slipped.

Officials at the Federal Reserve and within the Trump administration are watching the coronavirus situation closely, although the central bank’s main tool for stoking growth — lowering interest rates — might not help much if factories are not producing goods and supply chains are disrupted by quarantines.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX was 0.5 percent lower, and Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.7 percent.

Shares fell in most markets in Asia, led by Japan, which was closed for a holiday on Monday. The Nikkei 225 index tumbled more than 3.3 percent. Most other Asian markets fell at a much slower pace.

In China, the Shanghai stock market fell 0.6 percent, while the market in the city of Shenzhen rose by about half a percent.

Both markets had been fairly insulated from the global selling on Monday, a stability that analysts attributed to Beijing policies such as ordering fund managers not to sell more shares than they buy. Beijing has a history of tolerating share price declines more readily if they look like echoes of Wall Street’s activity, and that appeared to be true on Tuesday as well.

The Hong Kong market was little changed, after falling more than the mainland markets on Monday.

In South Korea, shaken by the world’s second-largest outbreak of the virus outside China, share prices rebounded on Tuesday morning after enduring one of the sharpest drops of any large market around the world the day before. They ended up 1.2 percent.

Stock markets in commodity-exporting countries continue to suffer losses as traders worry that demand for their goods may decline if more countries suffer the kind of bruising deceleration in economic activity that China has endured. Australia’s stock market fell 1.6 percent on Tuesday.

Matt Phillips and Jeanna Smialek contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Stock Markets Stabilize After an Outbreak-Inspired Slump

Westlake Legal Group 25markets-1-facebookJumbo Stock Markets Stabilize After an Outbreak-Inspired Slump Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Epidemics Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

SHANGHAI — Global stocks appeared to calm down on Tuesday, a day after fears of the spread of the new coronavirus outside China spooked investors into a worldwide sell-off.

Shares fell in most markets in Asia, led by Japan, which had closed for a holiday on Monday and missed that day’s drop. The Nikkei 225 index tumbled more than 3.3 percent. Most other Asian markets fell at a much slower pace.

Shares in Europe opened mostly higher, suggesting investors’ nerves had steadied, but then slumped into negative territory. Germany’s DAX was 0.4 percent lower, and Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.6 percent.

Futures trading indicated that American markets would rise when they opened on Tuesday.

The signs that markets were stabilizing followed a difficult Monday, when investors began to more fully comprehend the extent of the outbreak. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index fell 3.4 percent on Monday, its worst single-day performance since February 2018. European markets recorded their worst session since 2016.

President Trump, traveling in New Delhi on Tuesday, joked with business leaders that their investments in the United States had made them a lot of money “except for yesterday,” noting the market drop, according to a pool report. Mentioning the coronavirus outbreak, he said, “We think we’re in very good shape in the United States.”

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

Investors could face more wild rides as the coronavirus outbreak spreads further, crimping consumer demand and snarling the world’s supply chains. UBS said on Tuesday that it was recommending investors switch to emerging market stocks, and warned that holding shares in European companies presented a particular danger.

“The emergence of a large number of new cases in Italy has materially increased the risk of a sharp drop in consumer and business confidence in Europe, and potentially North America too if more cases are confirmed there in the coming days,” Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer at UBS’s global wealth management operations, said in an investment report.

UBS also said that it was recommending investors buy shares in companies that cater to “stay-at-home” consumers, like electronic commerce and food delivery services.

In China, the Shanghai stock market fell 0.6 percent, while the market in the city of Shenzhen rose by about half a percent.

Both markets had been fairly insulated from the global selling on Monday, a stability that analysts attributed to Beijing policies such as ordering fund managers not to sell more shares than they buy. Beijing has a history of tolerating share price declines more readily if they look like echoes of Wall Street’s activity, and that appeared to be true on Tuesday as well.

The Hong Kong market was little changed, after falling more than the mainland markets on Monday.

In South Korea, shaken by the world’s second-largest outbreak of the virus outside China, share prices rebounded on Tuesday morning after enduring one of the sharpest drops of any large market around the world the day before. They ended up 1.2 percent.

Stock markets in commodity-exporting countries continue to suffer losses as traders worry that demand for their goods may decline if more countries suffer the kind of bruising deceleration in economic activity that China has endured. Australia’s stock market fell 1.6 percent on Tuesday.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Live Updates: Spanish Hotel Locked Down Amid Outbreak Fears

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group 25virus-briefing03-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Spanish Hotel Locked Down Amid Outbreak Fears United States Economy Travel Warnings Stocks and Bonds New York Times Italy Iran Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

A view of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, during a dust storm on Sunday. Credit…Ramon De La Rocha/EPA, via Shutterstock

A hotel on the Spanish resort island of Tenerife was placed under a police cordon on Tuesday after an Italian guest tested positive for the new coronavirus, the authorities said.

According to local news reports, around 1,000 guests are booked at the hotel, the H10 Costa Adeje Palace, at a resort that is popular with British tourists. It was initially unclear the extent to which the hotel had been locked down and whether an official quarantine was in place.

Officials at the Canary Emergency Services Department are working to determine the severity of the outbreak in the building. In recent cases, including the quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the authorities demanded quarantine periods of at least 14 days.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, a Spanish territory off the coast of West Africa.

The Italian patient is being kept in isolation at a hospital on the island, pending the results of a second test to be conducted in Madrid by Spain’s National Center of Microbiology.

The hotel guests have been told to remain in their rooms, according to Antena 3, a Spanish television channel, while health inspectors are checking people inside who could have come into contact with the Italian.

Guests were given a note by the hotel management asking them to stay in their rooms and telling them that for health reasons, the hotel had been temporarily closed.

Police enlarged the security cordon around the hotel to block access to nearby streets and a parking lot on Tuesday morning.

According to the local news media, the man who tested positive is a doctor who was visiting from Lombardy, a region of Italy that has been hit particularly hard by the virus. He reportedly took himself to a hospital with a fever about a week after arriving in Tenerife.

Spain previously confirmed two cases of the virus, both foreigners who were hospitalized on Spanish islands: a German citizen on La Gomera and a Briton on Majorca.

Calling the coronavirus “a plague,” an Iraqi lawmaker demanded on Tuesday that the government seal its borders with Iran “until the disease is completely controlled,” the same day that Iraq’s health ministry announced four more cases of the virus.

The demand by Qutayba Al Jubori, chairman of the Iraqi Parliament’s Health and Environment Committee, came as governments across the region sought to limit the entry of Iranian travelers following an outbreak in that country that has killed at least 15 people.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

The Iraqi government said it would suspend all flights from Iran beginning Monday afternoon, but by Tuesday morning flights were still scheduled to and from Najaf, a central Iraqi city that is home to Shiite shrines popular with Iranian pilgrims.

Iraq reported its first case of the virus on Monday, a 22-year old religion student in Najaf, who has been quarantined at a location outside the city. On Tuesday, the health ministry confirmed that a family of four from Kirkuk who just returned from Iran had contracted the coronavirus and were being quarantined.

The government told citizens to avoid crowded places including shrines, universities and schools, shopping malls and stores, sports activities and entertainment parks. They also recommended avoiding kissing or shaking hands with others and urged people to use disposable napkins.

The firebrand cleric Moktada al-Sadr said he would suspend massive protests against his political opponents.

“I had called for million man protests and sit-ins against sectarian power-sharing and today I forbid you from them for your health and life, for they are more important to me than anything else,” he said in a statement.

Global stocks stabilized on Tuesday, a day after fears of the spread of the new coronavirus outside China spooked investors into a worldwide sell-off.

Shares fell in most markets in Asia, led by Japan, which had closed for a holiday on Monday and missed that day’s drop. The Nikkei 225 index dropped more than 3.3 percent. Most other Asian markets fell at a much slower pace.

But shares in Europe opened higher, suggesting investors’ nerves had steadied. Futures trading indicated that American markets would rise when they opened on Tuesday.

The signs of stabilization followed a difficult Monday, when investors began to more fully comprehend the extent of the outbreak. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index fell 3.4 percent on Monday, its worst single-day performance since February 2018. European markets recorded their worst session since 2016.

In China, the Shanghai stock market fell 0.6 percent, while the market in the city of Shenzhen rose by about half a percent. The Hong Kong market was little changed.

In South Korea, shaken by the world’s second-largest outbreak of the virus outside China, share prices rebounded on Tuesday morning after enduring one of the sharpest drops of any large market around the world the day before. They ended up 1.2 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent early, while German’s DAX rose 0.1 percent.

China appears to be getting the new coronavirus under control, but infections are spreading rapidly in South Korea, Iran and Italy. And the world is not prepared for a major outbreak, World Health Organization officials said on Monday.

A W.H.O. mission to China has said that the daily tally of new cases there peaked and then plateaued between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2, and has steadily declined since.

Chinese officials reported 508 new cases and 71 deaths as of Monday, a slower pace than in previous days.

By Tuesday, South Korea had reported a total of 893 cases, the second most in the world. Of the 60 new cases reported by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49 came from Daegu, the center of the outbreak in that country.

In Iran, a spike in coronavirus infections has prompted fears of a contagion throughout the Middle East. In Italy, one of Europe’s largest economies, officials are struggling to prevent the epidemic from paralyzing the commercial center of Milan. And in New York, London, and Tokyo, financial markets plummeted on fears that the virus will cripple the global economy.

The emergence of Italy, Iran, and South Korea as new hubs of the outbreak underscored the lack of a coordinated global strategy to combat the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 80,000 people in 37 countries, causing at least 2,600 deaths.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v42 Coronavirus Live Updates: Spanish Hotel Locked Down Amid Outbreak Fears United States Economy Travel Warnings Stocks and Bonds New York Times Italy Iran Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has infected more than 80,000 people in China and 33 other countries.

American citizens were advised on Monday to avoid nonessential travel to South Korea because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus there. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised the travel warning to Level Three, its highest warning.

“There is a widespread, ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person,” the C.D.C. said in an advisory. “Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at risk of severe disease.”

The C.D.C. also warned that “there is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”

The warning came as South Korea reported Tuesday that the number of cases in the country had risen by 60 to 893 overall. The majority of the cases have been centered in the area in and around Daegu, South Korea’s fourth-largest city, 180 miles southeast of Seoul. And roughly half the patients in the country are members of the Shincheonji religious group, a church that has a large following in the city.

President Moon Jae-in on Sunday put the country on the highest possible alert in its fight against the coronavirus.

The Trump administration, after weeks of pleading from lawmakers, asked Congress on Monday to allocate at least $2.5 billion in emergency funds to bolster its coronavirus response, according to three White House officials and a request letter obtained by The New York Times.

The request from the White House, $1.25 billion in new funds and $1.25 billion in money diverted from other federal programs, is a significant escalation in the administration’s response to the outbreak of the virus and a sign of how long the fight to stop it may be.

The letter, which was signed by Russell T. Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the funds would be spent on emergency medical supplies, lab testing, the development of vaccines and other forms of monitoring, among other features.

Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, called the request “woefully insufficient to protect Americans from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.”

“It is profoundly disturbing that their answer now is to raid money Congress has designated for other critical public health priorities,” she said in a statement. “Worse still, their overall request still falls short of what is needed for an effective, comprehensive governmentwide response.”

At least one and as many as 19 people have died from causes that could be linked to the coronavirus at a nursing home located steps from the likely source of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, the Chinese news outlet Caixin reported.

The nursing home, known as the Wuhan Social Welfare Institute, is near the seafood market that was identified the center of the outbreak. A spokesman told The New York Times it could not comment without approval from the civil affairs bureau.

In an indication that the authorities have acknowledged the risks posed to nursing homes, the civil affairs bureau has said every facility in the city will now be put under strict management, and that nucleic acid tests would be conducted for employees by Feb. 28.

The aged are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, with many of the reported deaths occurring among people over 60 years old who had underlying health conditions. Five people at the nursing home are said to have died in December and January, and another 14 in February, according to Caixin. Lung infections and heart attacks were listed among the causes of the deaths.

A nurse cited by Caixin said the infirmary attached to the home lacked testing capabilities for the virus. The municipal Civil Affairs Bureau in Wuhan said in a notice dated Thursday that 11 residents and an employee at the home have been infected and that one had died.

Many more deaths are going unreported, according to Caixin.

In a decision that could complicate California’s efforts to deal with the coronavirus crisis, a federal judge on Monday kept a temporary restraining order in place that would prevent infected patients on a military base from being moved to a state-owned facility in the city of Costa Mesa.

The judge said she would reconsider the issue after state and federal authorities provide more details about how they plan to protect the health of the community, as well as the people with coronavirus. “The state has shown great empathy for the patients,” Judge Josephine L. Staton said in a ruling that drew applause, adding that she wanted to see “the same empathy for the residents of Costa Mesa.”

Costa Mesa had asked the judge to prevent California from moving people infected with the new coronavirus into a former residential home for developmentally disabled people, where the patients would remain in isolation while recovering. The area, which is in Orange County, is too heavily populated to host people infected with such a dangerous virus, the local officials argued.

Federal officials had planned to move the patients to a facility in Alabama operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, court documents said, but officials in California thought that moving the group out of the state would be detrimental to their health and well-being.

The standoff over where to send the patients underscored the unwieldy, decentralized nature of the U.S. health system, even as federal authorities were warning of serious risks from the coronavirus outbreak

Beijing officials announced on Tuesday that they had ordered local governments to streamline the many new requirements they have imposed before companies can reopen after weeks of stalled production as a result of the outbreak

Worried that further infections might be blamed on them, local officials all over China have been demanding that companies pass extensive reviews and even on-site inspections before they can restart production. Rules include making sure that companies provide employees with face masks, keep track of employees’ temperatures and set up hand-washing stations.

Manufacturers of medical protection equipment can bypass the new rules almost entirely, so as to produce more face masks and other gear as quickly as possible.

But while Beijing is trying to restart the private sector, it does not want companies to mark up prices steeply for scarce products. Tang Jun, the deputy director of the State Administration of Market Regulation, said at a news briefing on Tuesday morning in Beijing that the Chinese government had investigated 4,500 companies for price gouging and was filing more than 11,000 legal cases.

The cases involved, “medical protective supplies and important commodities related to the people’s livelihood,” he said. More than 36,000 online vendors have already been identified as trying to overcharge specifically for face masks, he added, and electronic commerce companies have removed their overpriced listings.

Reporting and research was contributed by Raphael Minder, Matt Phillips, Russell Goldman, Keith Bradsher, Gerry Mullany, Aimee Ortiz, Alissa Rubin, Elaine Yu, Mark Landler, Steven Lee Myers, Sui-Lee Wee, Farah Stockman, Louis Keene, Noah Weiland, Emily Cochrane and Maggie Haberman.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S. Stocks Plunge as Coronavirus Crisis Spreads

Westlake Legal Group 24USMARKETS-facebookJumbo U.S. Stocks Plunge as Coronavirus Crisis Spreads Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Stocks on Wall Street plummeted on Monday, following sharp declines in global markets after spreading coronavirus outbreaks in Italy and in South Korea stoked concern among investors about the potential damage they might inflict on the global economy.

The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3 percent at the start of trading, after European markets recorded their worst day since 2016 and major benchmarks in Asia closed sharply lower. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 900 points.

The number of people infected with the virus has ballooned to more than 79,000 people in Asia, crippling China’s economy. Rapidly spreading outbreaks have now been reported in Italy, Iran and South Korea.

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The Coronavirus Outbreak

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

.cls-1{fill:#111;}

Investors have been on edge since the start of the crisis, because of the role that China’s factories play in global business and because it is a huge consumer market itself. But fresh reports that the virus is not contained are “signaling alarm bells,” a market analyst at Citigroup wrote Monday.

Airline and technology stocks were particularly hard hit. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines were each more than 4.5 percent lower, while shares of Apple — which said last week that the outbreak in China was hurting both its supply of iPhones and demand for it — fell more than 5 percent in early trading.

Oil prices slid as demand for crude waned because of concerns about a widening economic slowdown. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell nearly 4 percent to about $56.40 a barrel on Monday, as did West Texas intermediate, the main U.S. benchmark, which dropped to about $51.50 a barrel. The lower prices will increase pressure on OPEC and Russia to reduce oil supplies at their next meeting, which is scheduled for early March in Vienna.

Gold, which is viewed as a safe place to invest during market tumult, rose to a seven-year high.

In Europe, major benchmarks were down 3 percent or more. The South Korean market ended 3.9 percent lower, after a surge in coronavirus cases prompted President Moon Jae-in on Sunday to put the country on its highest level of alert. Other Asian markets slid, but not by as much.

An analyst note from JPMorgan warned “the immediate impact of a large China demand and supply shock will be substantial.” The analysts predicted that global G.D.P. would slow to about 1 percent this quarter, but said they expected a strong recovery midyear.

In a commodities report, Citi Research analysts said that the virus’s ripple effect on the global supply chain may be more problematic than expected.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S. Stocks Plunge as Coronavirus Crisis Spreads

Westlake Legal Group 24USMARKETS-facebookJumbo U.S. Stocks Plunge as Coronavirus Crisis Spreads Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Stocks on Wall Street plummeted on Monday, following sharp declines in global markets after spreading coronavirus outbreaks in Italy and in South Korea stoked concern among investors about the potential damage they might inflict on the global economy.

The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3 percent at the start of trading, after European markets recorded their worst day since 2016 and major benchmarks in Asia closed sharply lower. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 900 points.

The number of people infected with the virus has ballooned to more than 79,000 people in Asia, crippling China’s economy. Rapidly spreading outbreaks have now been reported in Italy, Iran and South Korea.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

Investors have been on edge since the start of the crisis, because of the role that China’s factories play in global business and because it is a huge consumer market itself. But fresh reports that the virus is not contained are “signaling alarm bells,” a market analyst at Citigroup wrote Monday.

Airline and technology stocks were particularly hard hit. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines were each more than 4.5 percent lower, while shares of Apple — which said last week that the outbreak in China was hurting both its supply of iPhones and demand for it — fell more than 5 percent in early trading.

Oil prices slid as demand for crude waned because of concerns about a widening economic slowdown. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell nearly 4 percent to about $56.40 a barrel on Monday, as did West Texas intermediate, the main U.S. benchmark, which dropped to about $51.50 a barrel. The lower prices will increase pressure on OPEC and Russia to reduce oil supplies at their next meeting, which is scheduled for early March in Vienna.

Gold, which is viewed as a safe place to invest during market tumult, rose to a seven-year high.

In Europe, major benchmarks were down 3 percent or more. The South Korean market ended 3.9 percent lower, after a surge in coronavirus cases prompted President Moon Jae-in on Sunday to put the country on its highest level of alert. Other Asian markets slid, but not by as much.

An analyst note from JPMorgan warned “the immediate impact of a large China demand and supply shock will be substantial.” The analysts predicted that global G.D.P. would slow to about 1 percent this quarter, but said they expected a strong recovery midyear.

In a commodities report, Citi Research analysts said that the virus’s ripple effect on the global supply chain may be more problematic than expected.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Stocks Fall on Worries That the Coronavirus May Hurt Growth

Westlake Legal Group 24stocks-1-facebookJumbo Stocks Fall on Worries That the Coronavirus May Hurt Growth Stocks and Bonds South Korea Epidemics Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

SHANGHAI — Spreading coronavirus outbreaks in Italy and in South Korea over the weekend incited broad slides in stock markets on Monday, as investors appeared to fear that the economic disruption already seen in China might affect other economies as well.

The South Korean market ended 3.9 percent lower, after a surge in cases of the coronavirus disease prompted President Moon Jae-in on Sunday to put the country on its highest level of alert.

Futures markets trading suggested that European stock markets would also slump more than 2 percent when they open. The Italian government locked down at least 10 towns over the weekend near Milan, the country’s financial capital and a key industrial center, after scores of new cases emerged there.

Futures markets suggested Wall Street was headed to a rough Monday opening as well.

Stock markets in Asia dropped beyond South Korea, although somewhat less. The Australian market fell over 2 percent. The Hong Kong market was trading 1.8 percent lower on Monday afternoon, while the Singapore market was down a little more than 1 percent.

Stock markets in mainland China seemed mostly immune on Monday to the sell-off elsewhere. The Shanghai stock market was down only slightly. In southeastern China, the tech-heavy Shenzhen stock market was actually up nearly 1 percent by early afternoon on Monday there.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

“The worse the virus outbreak, the better the chance the central bank will release” more money into the financial system, which would tend to support share prices, said Hao Hong, the research director for the international operations of China’s Bank of Communications.

The Chinese authorities have also appeared to prop up the country’s domestic stock markets in recent days. That action followed a steep slide when they first reopened following the Lunar New Year holiday, which the Chinese government extended in an effort to stop the outbreak.

The Chinese government has told fund managers that if they sell shares, they must buy a slightly greater number of shares, Mr. Hong said.

The stock market in Japan was closed on Monday, a public holiday there in honor of the emperor’s birthday.

The coronavirus epidemic in China has already severely curtailed economic growth in China. That has fanned concerns that other economies may also be harmed as the virus spreads further.

Factories in China have been slow to reopen and resume full production even a month after Beijing publicly acknowledged the severity of the epidemic by locking down Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. That is partly because mass quarantines have prevented many employees from returning to their jobs.

Demand in China has also collapsed at least temporarily for a wide range of goods, limiting the incentive for business owners to restart production. Auto sales plummeted 92 percent in China during the first two weeks of February compared to the same time last year.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com