Live updates: U.S. stocks tanking after Senate fails again to advance coronavirus bill – The Washington Post

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 582 points, or 3 percent, to settle at 18,591. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index skidded roughly 3 percent and the Nasdaq tipped down 0.3 percent.The markets saw a short-lived surge during futures trading after the Fed said it would purchase Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities “in the amounts needed…

Live updates: U.S. stocks tanking after Senate fails again to advance coronavirus bill – The Washington Post

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 582 points, or 3 percent, to settle at 18,591. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index skidded roughly 3 percent and the Nasdaq tipped down 0.3 percent.The markets saw a short-lived surge during futures trading after the Fed said it would purchase Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning,” showing the central bank is willing to go far beyond the $700 billion in new purchases announced last week.But those gains were quickly wiped away. Investors are increasingly concerned about the enormous stimulus bill that aims to respond to the flood of layoffs affecting millions of Americans and the economic pillage felt by businesses in nearly every sector. On Monday afternoon, Democrats blocked the bill for the second day in a row, and lawmakers clashed on the Senate floor as strained negotiations dragged on.The bill would steer payments of $1,200 to most adults and include $500 for each child. It would also allocate $350 billion to small businesses to address layoffs and send billions more to hospitals and the unemployment insurance system. The measure also would create a $500 billion program for businesses, states and localities.“Today’s sell-off is a combination of uncertainty in both the health side of the virus and the financial system,” said Sarat Sethi of Douglas C. Lane & Associates. “Markets hate uncertainty. The uncertainty created by Congress not being able to provide a stimulus, and by investors continuing to look for a glimmer of hope on slowing the virus, are causing additional pressure on stocks like we have seen the last couple of weeks.”On Friday, the Dow shaved more than 900 points, bringing the week’s losses beyond 10 percent and erasing all Trump-era gains. All three indexes are well into a bear-market — which marks at least a 20 percent reversal from their highs.“We’ve known that the magnitude of help needed has been massive and growing for days now,” wrote Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate. “The Federal Reserve continues to do all it can to keep markets operating. Now, the spotlight is on elected leaders to do their jobs as well.”March 23, 2020 at 5:33 PM EDTInstacart is hiring 300,000 workers to deliver groceriesInstacart shopper Vanessa Bain shops for a customer at the Safeway in Menlo Park, California. Bain began a campaign that would lead to a Facebook group of 14,000 Instacart shoppers, about 10 percent of the nationwide total when the company started using default design tricks to decrease the amount shoppers can earn in tips. (Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)Grocery delivery giant Instacart says it is hiring 300,000 contract workers over the next three months, more than doubling its workforce, to keep up with soaring demand.Order volume has grown more than 150 percent in recent weeks, the San Francisco-based company said Monday, as Americans look for alternatives to going to the store in the coronavirus era. Instacart delivers groceries from more than 350 chains, including Safeway, Harris Teeter and Costco.“The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart’s history,” Apoorva Mehta, the company’s founder and chief executive said in a statement. The company said it plans to hire new workers all over the country, with a particular focus on its busiest markets. It expects to hire 54,000 contractors in California, 27,000 in New York and 18,000 in Texas.The bulk of Instacart’s workers are independent contractors, which means they do not receive paid sick leave or benefits. Instacart says it will offer up to 14 days of paid leave for workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory isolation.By Abha BhattaraiMarch 23, 2020 at 5:27 PM EDTAmerica has a lot of ICU beds, but they’re not distributed evenlyMany public health experts have warned that the coronavirus will put a tremendous strain on the nation’s intensive care units. Now, new estimates show that the nation’s ICU capacity — as measured by the number of beds per capita — varies greatly, with as much as a tenfold difference region to region.But Adam Sacarny of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, who conducted the research, and other experts caution that the number of ICU beds is only one of many factors used to gauge a region’s health care infrastructure and the readiness of its hospitals to respond to the coronavirus.Sacarny analyzed data from 2016 to 2018, the most recent years available, and found that hospitals reported approximately 93,000 ICU beds in the United States. That figure does not include neonatal or pediatric intensive care beds, which typically would not be available to the adults who make up the bulk of hospitalized coronavirus patients, or beds at government-run facilities such as Veterans Affairs and military hospitals.Areas with greater populations naturally have more ICU beds than less-populated areas. For a better sens
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