Covid-19 Insights, Dow Jones Index vs Italy mentions by media outlets

Sourcing, analyzing & interpreting key data on the recent pandemic crisis

By: Andrii Elyiv & Aldo Visibelli

Source: Connexun’s news api

Recent events led to a broad range of unexpected outcomes illustrated by the press. Italy registered a drastic increase in the number of mentions amongst content published online by the press from February the 19th 2020 until today. Italian authorities identified the area surrounding Lodi, namely the “Lodigiano”, as the new “zona rossa” (red zone) and the media labelled it as the very first Wuhan outside of China. Italy, from one day to the other, became the epicenter of the deadliest pathogen outside of Asia. The word “lockdown” was integrated into Italian vocabularies faster than “jobs act”, the 2015 labor law introduced by the Renzi government.

At the end of January, when the new pandemic about to strike the world was still gathering forces, Connexun’s data scientist, Andrii Elyiv, was monitoring world news concerning the coronavirus crisis; and like other data scientists was perplexed about the complete disconnection between recent impactful events and the financial markets (with the exception of the Chinese stock market re-opening). Aldo, Connexun’s new business development manager, on the other hand, besides connecting the dots between “Contagion” and “The Big Short”; was trying to spot the value that lies at the intersection between news api and financial markets (our news api can indeed map and analyze media reactions to the pandemic crisis, plotting where and when the major events and announcements occurred).

As illustrated in the graph below Andrii focused its attention on the link between the percentage (%) of international news about Italy captured by Connexun and the Dow Jones index. As evident below, the correlation between the Dow Jones index and the percentage (%) of news regarding Italy is clearly worthy of attention.

Source: Connexun’s news api
Source: Connexun’s news api
Source: Connexun’s news api

As pointed out previously, Italy became one of the most frequently mentioned countries from the world’s media outlets starting from the 19th of February 2020, date coinciding pretty much with the beginning of the drop of the Dow Jones index. Throughout the peak of the epidemic crisis in Italy, during the period going from the 15th to the 24th of March 2020, almost 8% of all international news captured by Connexun in various languages were focusing on Italy. At the same time The Dow Jones drastically dropped to almost 19.000 points.

At present we can notice a decrease in the percentage of news about Italy and a steady recovery of the Dow Jones Index. They are like a mirror image of each other over the last two months. There is almost zero time lag between them, Pearson correlation coefficient is -0.90, Relation Dow = 32233–1428.9*IT[%]. All data are locally smoothed by a moving average with a 5 days window. Outbreaks of Covid-19 cases in China or the US do not show such coherence with the Dow Jones behaviour.

For this post we crawled and classified media articles published from February the 1st, 2020 to April the 9th, 2020. All data used for this post was sourced from our news api. Using in-house machine translation, morphological dictionary capabilities and other Natural Language Processing tecniques we are able to aggregrate and cluster media articles from thousands of sources in various languages across the globe into distinct clusters. For more information on our findings and our technology feel free to reach us out at info@connexun.com or test our technology at www.connexun.com.