16,000 New Yorkers could die from the coronavirus, according to Gates Foundation projections


The coronavirus pandemic could result in the death of 16,000 New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned from Albany on Wednesday in his daily news conference.

To date, the virus has killed 1,914 across the state with 83,712 confirmed cases, according to the statistics shared Wednesday by Cuomo.

“There is a group that is funded by the Gates Foundation that projects 93,000 Americans will lose their life by the time this is over,” Cuomo said. “That model suggests 16,000 New Yorkers will pass away by the time this runs its course,” which could be through July, he added.

His U.S.-wide projection is less than what the White House gave on Tuesday, which estimated the number of deaths to be between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans.

The group referenced by the governor is the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and their specific numbers for the two rates on Wednesday afternoon are 93,765 dying in the U.S. and 16,090 in the state. The institute takes into account the effects of social distancing measures until at least the end of May 2020.

Factors affecting the forecasts, which are updated every day at 6 a.m. (PST), are based on a wide range of data sources, including state health agencies, among others, a representative for IHME told MarketWatch.

The model, which only provides statewide projections, does not provide an estimate for the death toll in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.

As of Wednesday, the city has accounted for 1,096, or 57.2%, of New York state’s 1,914 deaths.

Meanwhile, at a separate news conference Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city is expected to run out of ventilators by Sunday. He said that to handle the surge of victims, New York City will need 2,500 to 3,000 ventilators over the next week and 65,000 hospital beds by the end of April. The city will be retrofitting hotels and large venues to create 39,000 beds.

Cuomo pointed out on Wednesday that New York state will account for roughly 16% of the total deaths in the U.S. based on the modeling from the IHME. The actual figure based on IHME’s specific online numbers is a just pinch higher at 17%.

“I don’t even understand that,” he said. “Since New York is so much higher right now.”

The governor was referring to the disproportionate number of both coronavirus cases and deaths in the state. New York currently accounts for 42.7% of the U.S.’s total 195,929 confirmed cases and for 45% of the country’s 4,310 coronavirus deaths.

“If you believe these numbers, 16,000 deaths in New York, that means you’re going to have tens of thousands of deaths outside of New York,” Cuomo said. “So to the extent people watch their nightly news in Kansas and say ‘well this is a New York problem’, that’s not what these numbers say. It says it’s a New York problem today, tomorrow it’s a Kansas problem and a Texas problem and a New Mexico problem.”

Along with the projections, Cuomo said Wednesday that 7,917 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across New York compared to the figures he announced Tuesday, 1,297 new hospitalizations and 391 more deaths.



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Online dating amid coronavirus: Longer chats and fewer new prospects, Match says


As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, online daters are having longer conversations but finding fewer new dating prospects, Match Group Inc. said Tuesday, which is leading to a change in strategy.

The new chief executive of Match Group

MTCH, -0.94%

 — which owns Tinder, Match.com and other online-dating properties — wrote a letter about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that was posted Tuesday on the company’s website and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In it, she said that the length of Tinder users’ conversations increased 10% to 30% after the virus struck their countries, but services were struggling to attract new users (especially those older than 30) and paying subscribers in countries hit hard by infections.

“In Europe, we’ve seen new subscriber declines of around 5% in aggregate since the crisis began, but in countries severely impacted by COVID-19, like Italy and Spain, we have seen more significant declines,” CEO Shar Dubey wrote. “In the U.S., the impact also depends on the level of cases in the region and varies by brand. For example, Tinder in New York State has seen low double-digit declines in new subscribers since the outbreak accelerated, but much of the rest of the country has held up much better.”

See also: This is why loneliness and dating apps are such a bad match

As a result, Dubey said that Match was looking to “pivot” to quickly add video chat to more of its services. Dubey said Match had begun rolling out video chat on two services, Plenty of Fish and Twoo, and that usage had “exceeded our expectations.” The company now plans to roll out one-on-one video-chat services on its namesake Match.com service in early April.

“As nearly every aspect of our lives is now conducted via video, singles are also becoming increasingly comfortable with video dates, and we are integrating video chat into our apps,” she wrote. “We have offered video chat features in the past and seen low usage, but we think this time user behavior is likely to change more permanently.”

Match did not mention any plans for video on Tinder, its mobile-focused dating app. A spokeswoman said that the company had nothing to add beyond the letter.

The company also did not mention if it plans to charge for any video-chat offerings as part of subscription services like Tinder Gold, which have powered much of Match Group’s gains in recent years. Earlier this month, JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth cut his target for Match’s 2020 revenue by 15% because he expected to see “less social interaction likely weighing on dating subscriptions, which are largely month-to-month & easy to turn on and off.”

Jefferies analysts raised their price target after the news Tuesday, because Dubey said that Match’s first-quarter results would likely come in at the low end of the company’s guidance range, which called for sales of $545 million to $555 million. The analysts wrote that performance was better than feared, and the letter suggested Match “was likely on pace to exceed 1Q expectations prior to the COVID dynamic.”

“No recession in love,” they wrote, while bumping the target to $74 from $65.

Read: More people meet online than through friends or family or work

The letter also noted that the company’s divorce from parent company IAC/Interactive Corp.

IAC, -0.43%

 is on track to be completed in the second quarter, but the pandemic could impact that as well.

Match stock declined 19.6% to a market cap of roughly $18.7 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as the novel coronavirus spread across the globe, roughly in line with an 18.7% decline for the S&P 500 index

SPX, -1.60%

 . Shares fell 2.1% in late trading Tuesday. No analysts tracked by FactSet suggest selling the stock, with 10 rating it a buy and eight rating the shares as a hold.



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Outspoken Wall Street bond whiz says the stock market is acting ‘dysfunctional’ and may hit rock bottom once we take out March’s low


Jeffrey Gundlach on Tuesday said that the worst isn’t over for the stock market, after a brutal quarter that left the Dow with its worst decline in the first three months of a calendar year in its 124-year history.

Speaking during a webcast, the DoubleLine Capital founder said that the stock market remains “dysfunctional” from his perspective, indicating that the market may put in a more “enduring low,” once the March 23 nadir for stocks is “taken out.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

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 on March 23 finished at 18,591.93, its lowest close since Nov. 9, 2016, which left it with a pullback of more than 37% from its all-time closing high set in February. The S&P 500

SPX, -1.60%

, on the same day, ended at 2,237.40, its lowest close since Dec. 6, 2016, marking a nearly 34% pullback from its record finish.

From that point, the indexes then began a rebound that saw the Dow log its biggest three-day gain since 1931, and many strategists have speculated that the worst may be over for stocks after President Donald Trump last week signed the more-than-$2 trillion relief package and the Federal Reserve has rolled out a barrage of stimulus measures to ease gummed-up parts of the financial market.

Read: April poses crucial stock-market test as coronavirus promises ‘blizzard of bad news’

Gundlach speculated that the market could slide lower still. “I would bet that will get taken out,” he said, referencing the March nadir.

A day after the March low, the DoubleLine CEO speculated that the S&P 500 could jump to 2,700 before the coronavirus relief package was signed into law.

The S&P 500 hit an intraday March 24 peak at 2,637.01, but has mostly been retreating since then.

At the beginning of March, the Los Angeles bond-fund manager offered what turned out to be sage advice, recommending that investors stay in cash during the coronavirus pandemic.

He advised investors back then to pay attention to the economic data that will reveal the damage wrought by COVID-19, which has so far caused a near-global shutdown as governments across the world attempt to mitigate the spread of the deadly infection, which has been contracted by more than 850,000 people and killed 42,000 so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Gundlach said watching the direction of weekly U.S. jobless claims data, along with consumer confidence, could be helpful in seeing how households — the linchpin of the economy — are holding up.

Weekly jobless claims reported on Thursday were the worst in history, surging to 3.28 million people seeking unemployment benefits.

On Tuesday, Trump attempted to underscore to Americans that the road ahead will be a tough one, noting that we are facing a “very, very painful two weeks,” during a daily coronavirus news briefing. “This is going to be a rough two-week period,” the president said.

On Tuesday, stocks, slammed by uncertainty surrounding the illness, ended sharply lower, with the Dow marking its worst quarterly performance since 1987, the S&P 500 index marking its sharpest quarterly fall since 2008 and the Nasdaq Composite Index

COMP, -0.95%

  notching its worst quarterly slide since the fourth quarter of 2018.

Read: Only one stock in the Dow rose during the first quarter — and it was up by only one penny





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Captain of Navy warship battling coronavirus outbreak pleads for help


The captain of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, where several sailors have fallen ill with COVID-19, has pleaded with U.S. Navy officials for on-shore quarantines for the entire crew.

In the carrier’s close quarters, it is impossible to comply with isolation guidelines and “the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating,” Captain Brett Crozier wrote in a letter obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The newspaper said the authenticity of the letter had been confirmed by a senior officer aboard the warship. The Navy did not immediately return a request for comment.

COVID-19 cases aboard the nuclear-powered warship surfaced last week. The ship has instituted “limited measures” to contain the illness, but that will only slow down the spread, Crozier wrote.

Keeping with social distancing guidelines is virtually impossible as “the environment most conducive to spread of the disease is the environment the crew of the (Theodore Roosevelt) is in right now, both aboard ship and ashore,” the captain wrote, going on to describe how large amounts of sailors are in confined spaces; share berthing, restrooms, workspaces, and mess halls; and where mandatory watch and operational tasks demand “consistent close contact.”

“Decisive action is required,” Crozier wrote. About 10% of the crew would have to stay aboard for upkeep and response to emergencies, he said.

“Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those sailors entrusted to our care,” Crozier wrote. He acknowledged “challenges” with securing CDC-compliant lodgings for the crew, but that’s “the right thing to do.”

“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to pr0perly take care of our most trusted asset, our sailors,” Crozier wrote.

The Navy had acknowledged additional COVID-19 cases aboard the carrier, which was on Guam on a previously scheduled port visit, on Thursday.

“We are taking this threat very seriously and are working quickly to identify and isolate positive cases while preventing further spread of the virus aboard the ship,” the Navy said then. It expected sailors who tested positive to be taken to Guam’s naval hospital.



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Home price growth ramped up yet again in January, Case-Shiller index shows


The numbers: The pace of home-price appreciation once again ramped up in January, according to a major price barometer.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city price index posted a 3.1% year-over-year gain in January, up from 2.8% the previous month. On a monthly basis, the index increased 0.3% between December and January.

Because of the two-month lag in the data included in the price index, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the housing market were not yet reflected in the data.

What happened: Phoenix led the nation once more with a 6.9% annual price gain in January. Close behind were Seattle, Tampa, Fla., and San Diego, where prices rose by 5.1%. In total, 14 of the 20 cities in the index reported higher price increases year-over-year in January versus December.

On a regional basis, home price growth was strong in the West and the South, while comparatively weak in the Midwest and the Northeast, said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The big picture: The Federal Housing Finance Agency released its own monthly home-price index last week, which showed a 5.2% year-over-year gain in January. While home-price growth has accelerated in recent months, a year ago the pace of appreciation was actually slightly higher in most regions across the U.S., the FHFA report showed.

As the low supply of homes on the market has been met with high demand, home prices have been pushed higher. Low mortgage rates in recent months have encouraged that trend, because the low rate environment can make higher prices more palatable to buyers who might otherwise find them too expensive.

The question for the market now is whether home prices will take a hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While real-estate economists broadly expect sales volume to plummet, it’s unclear what effect the COVID-19 national health emergency will have on prices. A recent report from Zillow

ZG, +2.79%

 that analyzed what happened to the economy of regions affected by past disease outbreaks suggests that home prices may not fall along with sales.

What they’re saying: “Home prices increased nearly every month in 2019 and continued to push upward in early 2020 with strong demand,” said Bill Banfield, executive vice president of capital markets at Quicken Loans. “It’s yet to be seen how home prices will react through, and after, the current health crisis. I suspect once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, homebuyer demand will regain its footing, provided employment rebounds quickly.”

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average

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 and the S&P 500

SPX, +0.21%

  both opened lower Tuesday as coronavirus concerns lingered. The 10-year Treasury note’s yield

TMUBMUSD10Y, -5.37%

  was also down Tuesday morning.



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