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The Fed is watching housing ‘carefully’ and hopes builders catch up to the red-hot market, Chair Powell says

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Jerome Powell waits to testify before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on his nomination to become chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

  • The Fed is “carefully” watching the housing market as huge demand sends prices soaring, Chair Jerome Powell said.
  • The central bank doesn’t see “the kind of financial stability concerns” that fueled the 2008 crash, he added.
  • Powell said he hopes homebuilders react “and come up with more supply,” which would also boost job growth.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The housing market boom has caught the Federal Reserve’s attention.

By several measures, the US housing market is running at its hottest level since the mid-2000s bubble that nearly crashed the global financial system. Prices have surged at decade-high rates, and homebuying, while slowed from recent highs, remains elevated. What began as a pandemic-era rally has since raised concerns that soaring prices are eroding home affordability just as the US economy rebounds.

The market frenzy is being “carefully” monitored by the Fed, but there’s little reason to fear another nationwide crash, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a Wednesday press conference. The subprime lending and speculative purchasing that fueled the 2008 meltdown aren’t nearly as abundant this time around, making for a “very different housing market” than that seen a little over a decade ago, he added.

“I don’t see the kind of financial stability concerns that really do reside around the housing sector,” Powell said. “We don’t see bad loans and unsustainable prices and that kind of thing.”

Much of the boom is driven by demand significantly outstripping supply. Home inventory sits near record lows, and while housing starts recently leaped to the fastest rate since 2006, it will take some time for construction to equate to new supply.

Powell acknowledged the imbalance and highlighted that a bounceback in supply could also serve the labor market’s recovery.

“My hope would be that over time, housing builders can react to this demand and come up with more supply, and workers will come back to work in that industry,” he said.

Some of the current market strains can be tied directly to fallout from the 2008 crisis. The intense homebuying activity seen throughout the 2000s drove a boom in new construction. The rally lasted for years until dubious lending brought the market toppling down. Construction came to an almost-complete stop, and while it trended higher through the 2010s, it failed to retake levels seen during the prior decade’s surge. That building deficit is just now coming back to bite prospective homebuyers.

“We’ve been underbuilding for years,” Gay Cororaton, director of housing and commercial research for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), told Insider’s Hillary Hoffower.

While the Federal Reserve has little direct influence on the housing market, the central bank’s promise to hold interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future places downward pressure on mortgage rates. Lower borrowing costs help lower the barrier to entry for potential buyers, as would the previewed jump in supply.

Signs point to demand holding up even as supply recovers. Nearly 9% of Americans plan to buy a home in the next six months, according to The Conference Board’s latest consumer confidence report. That’s the largest share since 1987.

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/jerome-powell-housing-market-boom-different-2008-crash-federal-reserve-2021-4-1030360335

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Treasuries Extend Upward Trend Ahead Of Monthly Jobs Report

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(RTTNews) – Treasuries moved modestly higher during trading on Thursday, extending the upward trend seen over the past few sessions.

Bond prices moved to the upside in morning trading and remained firmly positive throughout the afternoon. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.3 basis points to 1.561 percent.

The continued strength among treasuries may have reflected their appeal as a safe haven ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report.

Ahead of the release of the monthly report, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected in the week ended May 1st.

The report said initial jobless claims slid to 498,000, a decrease of 92,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 590,000.

Economists had expected initial jobless claims to edge down to 540,000 from the 553,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The bigger than expected decrease once again dragged jobless claims down their lowest level since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Claims have declined by 33% since the start of April, further confirmation that a recovery in the labor market is well underway,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead Economist at Oxford Economics. “We expect more evidence of that recovery in tomorrow’s April jobs report.”

Economists currently expect employment to jump by 978,000 jobs in April after surging up by 916,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate is also expected to dip to 5.8 percent from 6.0 percent.

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/treasuries-extend-upward-trend-ahead-of-monthly-jobs-report-1030398400

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Cruise lines will have to mandate masks even by the pool and nix buffets for trial sailings without vaccine requirements, CDC says

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Mardi Gras Sea Trial
Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras ship.

  • The CDC has unveiled the next two phases of its Conditional Sailing Order.
  • The new phases detail how a cruise’s “simulated” trail sailings should look.
  • New requirements include masking up when poolside, and the potential ceasing of buffet services.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On May 5, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on how cruise lines should go about trial voyages, providing some insight into how cruising could look when it finally returns after over a year of no-sailing.

In the newly released next two phases of its Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO), the CDC detailed protocols that should be implemented on these “simulated voyages,” adding that cruise lines now have all the information needed to begin their trials. These sailings are meant to precede the COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate application needed to resume “restricted passenger voyages” again.

However, cruise lines that can prove that 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated will be allowed to skip this test sailing period.

It’s one step closer to the resumption of sailing in July after over a year of no large cruise ships in US waters, but according to the CDC’s guidelines, cruising may not look the same as pre-COVID-19 times.

“These instructions reflect CDC’s reasoned judgement based on the best available current science regarding the subject areas covered in the document,” the CDC wrote in its “COVID-19 Operations Manual for Simulated and Restricted Voyages under the CSO.” “Cruise ship operators should carefully consider and incorporate these instructions in developing their own health and safety protocols.”

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here’s how much the cruise industry’s power players pay some of their employees

The CDC’s “requirements” and “recommendations”

roller coaster on Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras ship
The roller coaster on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras ship.

It should be unsurprising that COVID-19 pandemic protocols are steeped into the trial sailings manual. As a result, some of the CDC’s guidelines will completely alter what traditional cruising once looked like.

The updated manual advises the typical protocols we’ve all grown accustomed to during the pandemic, including reducing face-to-face contact and social distancing around the ship. But if you long for the days of buffets and maskless lounging by the pool, cruise ships may not be the way to go.

The CDC’s mask order will be applied to the ships unless a passenger is eating or drinking for a short amount of time. or inside their own cabin. However, not wearing a mask during an “extended meal service or beverage consumption” is still considered a violation of the mask order.

This means masking up while on the pool deck as well. And while masks won’t have to be worn in the pool, water goers will still have to social distance.

This social distancing guideline will also apply to entertainment areas like show venues, casinos, and mini-golfing, and is why the CDC recommends encouraging passengers to take the stairs instead of elevators if possible.

In regards to dining, the guideline says cruise ships should consider letting passengers order meals ahead of time to limit their duration inside a restaurant, and offer prepackaged meals and single-use items like utensils and menus to limit contact. In line with this, the CDC is advocating for the end of buffet services aboard cruise ships.

The agency also recommends implementing “wearable recording technology [like] proximity bands” to create some form of onboard contact tracing that could tell the wearer when they’re not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

And when it’s time to disembark a ship for shore excursions, options may be limited. The CDC says cruise lines can’t allow “self-guided or independent exploration” at ports, and tour companies must still follow COVID-19 protocols like mask-wearing and social distancing.

“CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising following the phased approach outlined in the CSO,” the agency said in the press release. “This goal aligns with the prospective resumption of passenger operations in the United States by mid-summer, expressed by many major cruise ship operators and travelers.”

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/cruise-cdc-update-masks-pool-buffet-simulated-sailings-2021-5-1030398399

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Xcelerate, Inc. Signs Letter of Intent to Explore Business Relationship with HS Pharmaceuticals

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MAULDIN, S.C., May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Xcelerate, Inc. (OTC pink sheets: XCRT) today announced it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to pursue a business combination with HS Pharmaceuticals, LLC of Greenville, SC.  Over the past 14 years HS Pharmaceuticals has developed a platform of novel technologies centered around their patented and patent pending silicate particle research. Their research, in conjunction with leading universities and research facilities, has led to developments in healthcare in areas such as immunotherapy alternatives, topical therapies to combat infection and bacteria as well bone regeneration. For more information visit their website www.hspharma.com.

The LOI provides for XCRT to undertake its due diligence wherein its world-renowned team of clinicians and researchers will review HS Pharmaceuticals’ operations, structure, and intellectual property. “During this process, Xcelerate, a rapidly emerging leader in assembling and developing early-stage medical technology, will determine how and in what structure HS Pharmaceuticals research and IP would fit within its business plan.  The potential consolidation with HS Pharmaceuticals is further evidence that Xcelerate seeks to continue making headway in finding innovative acquisitions within the patent/engineering world.  We remain focused on joining early-stage medical technology companies in a setting of controlled clinical care where these new developments can be trialed, tested and applied,” said Xcelerate CEO Michael F. O’Shea.

SAFE HARBOR

This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company, its directors or its officers with respect to, among other things: (i) the Company’s financing plans; (ii) trends affecting the Company’s financial condition or results of operations; (iii) the Company’s growth strategy and operating strategy; and (iv) the declaration and payment of dividends. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s ability to control, and actual results may differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements resulting from various factors.

Media contact: Justin Baronoff 561-750-9800; justin@transmediagroup.com.

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/xcelerate-inc-signs-letter-of-intent-to-explore-business-relationship-with-hs-pharmaceuticals-301286074.html

SOURCE Xcelerate, Inc.

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Paradigm Appoints Two Key Executive Leaders for Continued Strategic Growth

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif., May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Paradigm, the industry leader in solving catastrophic and complex health care challenges and improving lives, today announced the appointment of two individuals to newly created executive leadership positions. Joining the organization are Tom Mafale as Chief Growth Officer and Jason Cooper as Chief Data and Analytics Officer. The addition of these two senior leadership roles represents an essential step in Paradigm’s vision for strategic growth with a reliance on robust data-based practices. 

(PRNewsfoto/Paradigm)

“The addition of these senior leadership roles represents an essential step in Paradigm’s vision for strategic growth.”

“With Tom and Jason, we are fortunate to have found experienced executives for these critical new roles. Both leaders’ backgrounds and values closely align with Paradigm’s deep clinical expertise and mission to change lives,” said John Watts, Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm. “I’m looking forward to working closely with both Tom and Jason on key strategic initiatives that amplify Paradigm’s impact on the people we serve.”

Tom Mafale, Paradigm’s new Chief Growth Officer

Paradigm created the Chief Growth Officer position to focus on delivering new and existing products and services to a wider range of markets as part of the company’s strategic growth plan. Tom comes to Paradigm with more than 30 years of experience leading best-in-class health care organizations. His demonstrated leadership in driving rapid growth, while building and developing cross-functional teams, will strengthen Paradigm’s ability to innovate and evolve its products and services across markets.

“Paradigm is an exciting company, with a reputation for achieving outcomes that are unparalleled in the workers’ compensation industry,” said Mafale. “As I join a dynamic organization with an incredibly strong growth plan, I frankly can’t wait to get to work. Paradigm shares my commitment to a strong culture that values mentoring and cooperation, all to serve a larger purpose of improving lives and creating value.”

Most recently, Tom served as Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Client Officer at HealthSmart, a Centene Company. There, Tom oversaw sales, account management, operations, and marketing for one of the largest third-party administrators in the country. Tom’s accomplished career has included senior leadership roles at top companies, including Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Centene. Across these roles, he developed a reputation as a seasoned sales, business development, and operations leader with a track record of successfully optimizing and enhancing sales performance, revenue growth, and strategic go-to-market strategies.

Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Fairfield University. He currently resides in Estero, Florida.

Jason Cooper, Paradigm’s new Chief Data and Analytics Officer

In his new role as Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Jason will be responsible for overseeing enterprise data and analytic initiatives to further Paradigm’s primary mission of achieving the best possible outcomes for complex and catastrophic injured patients and their families. Jason joins Paradigm with more than 20 years of experience in guiding the data strategy for leading health care organizations. His focus on data governance and clinical analytics will be a key asset as Paradigm continues to deliver an accountable care management model that leverages decades of proprietary clinical and outcomes data.

“I was drawn to Paradigm as a purposeful organization that takes an evidence- and data-based approach to maximizing outcomes for people in need of the highest levels of care,” said Cooper. “As the market leader for accountable care management, Paradigm is able to draw on a wealth of resources that includes 30 years of clinical and financial case data. I couldn’t be more excited to work with the senior leadership team, and the entire Paradigm ecosystem, to guide data and analytics initiatives throughout 2021 and beyond.”

Previously, Jason served as Senior Vice President, Chief Analytics and Engineering Officer for HMS, a leading provider of payment accuracy and population health management solutions to the broad health care market. In that role, he focused on evolving the organization around data governance, clinical analytics, client analytics and consulting, data science, and data visualization. Throughout his decades-spanning health care career, he has also held senior leadership positions for companies including Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, Cigna, and CVS.

Jason is a member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the American Medical Informatics Association. He also serves on the advisory councils of the University of Iowa’s Tippie Analytics Cooperative and Montclair State University’s graduate Business Analytics program. Jason holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a master’s degree in Computer Science from West Virginia University. He currently resides in the New York City metropolitan area.

About Paradigm

Paradigm is an accountable specialty care management organization focused on improving the lives of people with complex and catastrophic injuries and diagnoses. The company has been a pioneer in value-based care since 1991, offering deep clinical expertise, high-value specialty networks, behavioral health support, payment integrity solutions, and robust data analytics to generate the very best outcomes for patients, payers, and providers.

Paradigm is headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, with offices across the U.S. For more information, please visit www.paradigmcorp.com.

Media contact
Ronda Clement
VP of Marketing
ronda.clement@paradigmcorp.com
(727) 488-9345

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/paradigm-appoints-two-key-executive-leaders-for-continued-strategic-growth-301286073.html

SOURCE Paradigm

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