[This article is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information and modeling insights.]
When it comes to financial markets, it has become increasingly clear that stocks won’t meaningfully rebound to new highs until the coronavirus pandemic — formally dubbed Covid-19 — peaks.
So the biggest question on every investor’s mind right now is very simple: when will the coronavirus pandemic peak?
Unfortunately, pandemics are inherently tough to predict. No one knows with great certainty how the Covid-19 pandemic will end.
Fortunately, though, there is a lot of data out there with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. We can use all that data to make educated predictions about the lifespan and magnitude of Covid-19.
That’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve created a data-driven coronavirus model which aims to do the following:
- Analyze the growth curve of the virus
- Project when the virus will peak in America
- Project how many cases will be reported in America
- Predict when the pandemic will be “over”
Because the coronavirus is dynamic, as is this model. I will update it daily, so readers have the latest insights into the numbers behind the pandemic.
Daily Coronavirus Growth Curves
Key Insights (updated April 1):
- Italy appears to be “over the hump,” with daily new cases coming off the plateauing stage and actually starting to decline at a steady rate.
- Spain and Germany appear to be in the midst of the plateauing stage. We are going to want to see new cases start to drop off there soon.
- France reported a steep drop in new cases on April 1. If this trend holds, France will be in a few days where Spain and Germany are today.
- The U.S. continues to see new cases trend higher everyday. Given that the U.S. is now 20-plus days from reporting 1,000 cases, we hope to see new cases start to level off soon.
Explanation of the Model: This model analyzes the daily spread of the coronavirus in major European countries and the U.S. It plots daily new cases reported per capita (per 1 million people) in the United States, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany, with a starting point of the first day that country reported 1,000 or more cases (which roughly correlates to when each of these countries instituted some form of social distancing measures). The bars represent new cases reported each day. The lines represent 5-day moving averages of new reported cases.
The hope is that these growth curves — the 5-day moving averages — follow the same “bell” trajectory as they did in South Korea and China. Rise fast for a few weeks, flatten out for a few days, and then gradually fall towards near-zero.
Key Insights (updated April 1):
- The U.S. is still a few weeks off from “peak” coronavirus, which the model projects will occur in mid-April at around 40,000 new cases per day.
- The model projects that social distancing will work to push new cases towards near-zero by the middle of May.
- Total reported cases by mid-May is projected to be just north of 1.2 million.
Explanation of the Model: This model uses the growth curves from the first model, as well as the coronavirus growth curves in China, South Korea, Iran, and Japan, to statistically project how the growth curve will look in the U.S. It plots the number of daily new cases reported in the U.S.
The blue bars represent historical data-points. The orange bars represent projections.
Bottom Line on the Coronavirus Pandemic
Modeling the coronavirus pandemic is not an exact science. Limited data produces limited results. As such, the above model should not be taken as the truth. Rather, it’s simply my best effort at understanding how this virus might progress over the next few weeks.
At present, it appears that social distancing measures across the globe are working to slow the spread of the virus. While the worst of the outbreak is still to come in America, social distancing measures — if kept in place — should bring the outbreak largely to a halt by the middle of May, with new cases peaking sometime in mid-April.
Luke Lango is a Markets Analyst for InvestorPlace. He has been professionally analyzing stocks for several years, previously working at various hedge funds and currently running his own investment fund in San Diego. A Caltech graduate, Luke has consistently been rated one of the world’s top stock pickers by various other analysts and platforms, and has developed a reputation for leveraging his technology background to identify growth stocks that deliver outstanding returns. Luke is also the founder of Fantastic, a social discovery company backed by an LA-based internet venture firm. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.