The Era of Social Distancing

RavenPack COVID-19 Update | May 21, 2020

Our latest update includes a focus on social distancing, on two countries badly hit by the virus Russia and Brazil, tips on ESG-stock trading, and how enhancements to our news monitor enable story level granularity.

Key Takeaways

  • Whilst the world recovers and social distancing peaks Russia and Brazil get hit by a delayed attack of Covid-19
  • How traders can profit from the current obsession with ESG investing
  • New monitor features mean users can see the stories driving the charts

Go To Coronavirus News Monitor

Co-Mentions of Social Distancing and Coronavirus

As lockdown eases and people go back out on the streets, social distancing has become the most talked about topic in the news regarding covid-19.

It is now in pole position at the top of the Related Topics table on the monitor homepage.

Coronavirus Related Topics Worldwide

Pop out the chart and it shows how co-mentions of social distancing with Covid-19 actually peaked at 25.12% on May 11.

Social Distancing Worldwide

Focus on Brazil and Russia

Whilst social distancing has taken over as the most talked about topic in the world in general, it is interesting to note that for Brazil and Russia - two countries where the virus has peaked later than most other places and where cases are still climbing - it is not.

On the contrary in the case of these two countries the dominant topic in the news is ‘Confirmed Cases’ with a share of total news of 28% apiece at the time of writing.

Coronavirus Related Topics Brazil and Russia

Brazil recently overtook Spain as the country with the 3rd highest Covid cases in the world.

Brazil Coronavirus Exposure

This is reflected in the divergence between covid-19 news sentiment for Brazil versus the world.

Brazil Coronavirus Sentiment

Brazilian sentiment recently made a new low of -54.5 on May 19, whilst worldwide sentiment made its all-time low on March 31 after which time the index has been rising.

Brazil is now at the bottom of the list of countries from a news sentiment perspective, moving down 5 ranks in the last two weeks two the bottom of all 214 countries that we track.

The Media Hype Index shows the percentage of all news that is about Covid, and is also often a reflection of the severity of the pandemic. Here too we note a divergence between Brazilian and worldwide hype, with the percentage of news in Brazil well above 60% but worldwide covid hype now more often than not registering a daily close below 50%.

Brazil Coronavirus Media Hype

The World Recovers

Major Indexes we use to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have been showing signs of weakness which suggests the situation is improving.

The Worldwide Media Coverage Index which measures the percentage of news outlets talking about the coronavirus is showing signs of decline after posting a 9 week low on May 10.

Worldwide Coronavirus Media Coverage

The Worldwide Infodemic Index measures how much the virus is spreading by quantifying how many assets and entities it is affecting. This is also showing signs of underlying weakness after registering a roughly 2-month low on May 17.

Finally, although fears of a second wave resurfaced recently they appear to have peaked and are easing back down, which may be a sign a second wave is less of a threat for now.

second wave topic worldwide

Investors Give Up on ‘Tainted’ Stocks too Easily, Says ESG Study

Shakespeare once wrote of the ‘bubble reputation’, meaning something that takes time to grow but seconds to burst, and a similar phenomenon appears to be at work in the stock market, according to a research study from Monash University in Melbourne, that used RavenPack data.

The study shows how companies that suffered reputational damage when bad-ESG practices came to light, were dumped en masse, regardless of how solid their fundamentals were.

The resulting brutal drawdowns, however, were often only temporary overreactions and prices invariably reverted to mean eventually, or even went higher when monitored over the following 90-day period.

This could provide contrarian investors with a buying opportunity (if they don’t mind holding the tainted stock) or for existing holders to wait for a better price before giving the let-down stock the final heave-ho!

Performance Upgrade

We are also proud to announce a further set of enhancements to our Covid-19 news monitor, which has been dubbed the ‘John Hopkins on steroids’ of Covid monitors.

  • The main upgrade is that the story headlines listed in the news feed in the top right-hand corner now automatically refresh to reflect only news related to the specific index a user has selected.
  • If a user clicks on the Panic or Media Hype indexes, for example, the newsfeed will refresh to only show news relevant to the construction of those indexes.
  • The feature also works for chart selections, such as ‘Vaccine’ or ‘Remote Working’, from the Related Topics table.
  • Another enhancement is that Related Topics can now also be compared on a country-by-country basis.
  • The introduction of the ‘Infodemic Index’, is a further moderation to the monitor, this shows the extent of the spread of the virus across entities.
  • All charts on the monitor now also have a 3-month viewing option.
  • We have also added new related topics for Herd Immunity, Credit Card Debt, Mortgage Payments, Immigration, Elections, Protests, Deflation, Infodemic, Pay Cuts, Workplace Safety, Resignations, Facilities Open, State of Emergency Lifted and Travel Ban Lifted.
  • Finally, the Geo-Exposure Table at the top of the monitor where the map is located has a smoother interface and locked country columns as well as related-column grouping, and “custom sorting and a field selector that allows you to choose which data to hide or show.” According to our product team.

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