Stock Markets Drift Lower as New Infections Rise: Live Updates

Global markets weaken on signs of new infections around the world.

Global markets drifted lower on Monday, amid persistent worries about the ability of global leaders to stop the coronavirus from spreading further

European stocks opened more than half a percentage point lower in morning trading, though they made up some lost ground later in the session. Asian markets ended mixed.

Investor indecision was manifested in other markets, too. Prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, usually seen as an investor safe haven, were mixed. Oil prices were flat on futures markets.

Futures markets that follow U.S. stocks were predicting Wall Street would open slightly lower.

Investors were watching the spread of cases in the United States, where a top adviser to President Trump said on Sunday that officials are preparing for a possible second wave of infections. They were also watching potential trade tensions between the United States and China, after Beijing said it was temporarily suspending poultry imports from a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse that has had coronavirus cases among its workers.

It was not clear whether the spate of bad news would be enough to dissuade investors entirely. Stocks had risen in recent weeks on hopes that the coronavirus would fade as an issue and as governments around the world stepped up lending and spending to fight the economic effects. Though markets took heavy losses in some weeks, the S&P 500 index in the United States is down only about 4 percent year to date.

Nursing homes are evicting vulnerable residents.

RC Kendrick, an 88-year-old man with dementia, was living at Lakeview Terrace, a nursing home in Los Angeles with a history of regulatory problems. But on April 6, the nursing home deposited Mr. Kendrick at an unregulated boardinghouse — without bothering to inform his family. Less than 24 hours later, Mr. Kendrick was wandering the city alone.

According to three Lakeview employees, Mr. Kendrick’s ouster came as the nursing home was telling staff members to try to clear out less-profitable residents to make room for a new class of customers who would generate more revenue: patients with Covid-19.

More than any other institution in the United States, nursing homes have come to symbolize the deadly destruction of the coronavirus crisis. More than 51,000 residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been killed, representing more than 40 percent of the total death toll in the United States.

But even as they have been ravaged, nursing homes have also been enlisted in the response to the outbreak. They are taking on coronavirus-stricken patients to ease the burden on overwhelmed hospitals — and, at times, to bolster their bottom lines.

But nursing homes nationwide are kicking out old and disabled residents — among the people most susceptible to the coronavirus — and shunting them into homeless shelters, rundown motels and other unregulated facilities, according to 22 watchdogs in 16 states, as well as dozens of elder-care lawyers, social workers and former nursing home executives.

The modest decrease in the new deal’s value could be encouraging for other leagues and clubs that are entering negotiations uncertain if games will be played on schedule, in front of fans — or even if they will take place at all.

But the reduced fee and smaller pool of interested bidders may also be a sign that a yearslong inflationary bubble for elite-level sports programming may be over, even as premium sports properties are likely to command large fees for the foreseeable future.

China on Sunday said it was temporarily suspending poultry imports from a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse that has had coronavirus cases among its workers.

A public notice by China’s General Administration of Customs provided the registration number of a Tyson facility in Springdale, Ark. On Friday, the company said that 13 percent of the 3,748 employees at its facilities in northwestern Arkansas had tested positive for the virus. Almost all were asymptomatic.

Tyson released a statement saying that it was “looking into” China’s action and that it was operating in compliance with all government safety requirements.

“It is important to note that the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, U.S.D.A. and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration agree that there is no evidence to support transmission of Covid-19 associated with food,” the company aid.

Safety limits on food imports from the United States could make it even harder for China to meet its promise to buy more American goods as part of the first phase of a trade agreement signed with the Trump administration in January.

Scientists have said that the coronavirus appears to spread mostly through the air, not contaminated meat. But China has already curbed almost all transmission of the virus within its own borders and is looking to stamp out even low-probability risks.

The pandemic is expected to bring more lawsuits, and more backers.

If there is on
e thing that is almost always guaranteed in an economic downturn, it’s an increase in litigation.

Businesses are going to sue businesses. Tenants are going to sue landlords, who will sue their tenants right back. Insurance companies will contest claims, and start-ups will try to defend their intellectual property from more established companies.

Yet in this recession, one industry that was just getting started during the 2008 downturn has come into its own and is attracting wealthy investors looking for outsize returns.

Meet litigation finance, an esoteric, high-risk investment strategy that lures with the siren song of double-digit returns. It’s an industry with a few publicly traded behemoths, but it remains the preserve of private-equity-style funds that invest in cases, back law firms and act as financial intermediaries when settlements have been reached.

And the pandemic could be its time to emerge from its little-known niche.

“We have the wind to our backs in this unusual environment,” said Howard Shams, the chief executive of Parabellum Capital and an early practitioner in the industry.

Reporting was contributed by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Amy Julia Harris, Tariq Panja, Michael Ives, Keith Bradsher, Mohammed Hadi, Gillian Friedman, Carlos Tejada and Paul Sullivan.

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