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Showing posts from October, 2020

News | US Politics: President Trump has had real achievements and a baleful effect

  Oct 29th 2020 16-20 minutes - Source: THE ECONOMIST A MERICA HARDLY feels great again. There are 11m fewer people working than in February. Barely more than one-third of pupils are attending school normally. Hunger and poverty have risen; the memories of a turbulent summer of protests and racial unrest are still raw. Official figures show 227,000 people dead due to covid-19; excess-mortality data suggest the true total is over 300,000. And both caseloads and hospitalisations are surging for a third time. On October 23rd America recorded nearly 84,000 new cases, the highest daily tally so far. The mismanaged epidemic, more than anything else, seems likely to cost President Donald Trump his job. As The Economist went to press our election model gave him less than a 5% chance of winning. Were it not for the epidemic, though, Mr Trump might be on the brink of re-election. In 2016 he told voters he would keep the economy growing;

News | Politics | US Election: Biden Courts Latino Voters as Tie-Breakers in Tight Florida Race

  Jennifer Epstein 4-5 minutes - Source: BLOOMBERG Joe Biden arrives to a drive-in campaign rally in Coconut Creek, Florida. Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday appealed to Hispanic voters in Florida, a closely divided battleground state where a win next week could be key to securing the presidency. “The heart and soul of the country is at stake right here in Florida. It’s up to you. You hold the key. If Florida goes blue, it’s over,” the Democratic presidential nominee said in Coconut Creek in Broward County, which stretches south from Fort Lauderdale toward Miami and is a key source of Democratic votes in the state. Althoug

News | Business | US Economy: U.S. Economy’s Path Less Certain After Record Quarterly Growth

  By Reade Pickert 5-7 minutes - Source: BLOOMBERG The U.S. economy’s record third-quarter surge has already given way to a more moderate pace of growth, with a fresh jump in coronavirus infections and an extended deadlock over further stimulus threatening to weigh on activity. Economists mostly projected fourth-quarter growth at an annual pace slightly below 3% to about 6% following Thursday’s report, which showed gross domestic product jumped 33.1% in the July-September period. That figure largely reflected a rebound in economic activity after widespread lockdowns earlier this year. Analysts are betting the economy will continue to grow, amid solid gains in consumer spending, strong housing demand and businesses restocking inventories. Risks are rising, though, that the pickup in Covid-19’s sprea

News | Business | Franchise Companies: McDonald’s Now Faces Bias Suit by Current Black Franchisees

  Jeff Green and Peter Blumberg 3-4 minutes - Source: BLOOMBERG Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg McDonald’s Corp. was accused of discrimination by the Black franchise operators of four its restaurants in Tennessee, escalating a legal fight after a group of Black former franchisees claimed in a lawsuit that the company set them up to fail in crime-ridden areas. The complaint was filed Thursday in Chicago federal court as a class action by the same law firm that brought the previous case two months ago. It follows other cases alleging that the fast-food chain gives preferential treatment to Whites among the ranks of its executives and workers.

Wall Street Closing Report: Stocks rebound from massive sell-off, S&P 500 closes more than 1% higher as tech gains

  Fred Imbert, Jesse Pound, Yun Li 3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC Stocks rose on Thursday as shares of major tech companies advanced ahead of their quarterly earnings reports. Sentiment also got a lift from better-than-expected economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 255 points higher, or 1%. The S&P 500 climbed 1.7% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.2%. Shares of Amazon and Apple were up by 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Alphabet traded 4.1% higher and Facebook popped 5%. All four companies are slated to report earnings after the bell Thursday. Four of the 11 S&P 500 sectors traded more than 2% higher, including tech and communication services. Netflix, meanwhile, surged more than 5% after the company announced it will raise prices for U.S. subscribers . Earnings expectations for Big Tech companies are high given their high valuations relative to the broader market. “Expectations are always going to be high

Currencies | The Dollar: Dollar holds ground as rising Covid-19 cases boost safe-haven demand

  2-3 minutes - Source: CNBC A £10 note is seen alongside euro notes and US dollar bills. Matt Cardy | Getty Images The dollar held gains against a basket of major currencies on Thursday as escalating coronavirus cases in Europe stoked investor fears that fresh lockdowns would further hit the already fragile economic recovery. The safe-haven greenback steadied against a basket of six currencies at 94.05, up 0.7% on the day. Concerns of further damage to the economy grew as France and Germany went back into lockdown on Wednesday, as a massive second wave of coronavirus cases threatened to overwhelm Europe. “The vibe is similar to what it was like in late February to early March,” said Rikiya Takebe, senior strategist at Okasan Online Securities, referring to the time when the coronavirus started to spread in the U.S. and Europe. “Back then, there was a shift to dollar-buying to prevent risks in case of emergency, leading to a higher dollar. I think the

Commodities | Gold Price Report: Gold slips to 1-month low as dollar gains upper hand

  2-3 minutes - Source: CNBC A gold bar is wrapped in a financial newspaper. GSO Images | Getty Images Gold prices fell to a one-month low on Thursday, extending the previous session’s sharp slide as the dollar remained the preferred refuge from risks due to mounting COVID-19 cases ahead of the U.S. Presidential election. Spot gold was 0.4% lower at $1,868.81 per ounce, having fallen 2% on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.5% to $1,869.40. “You currently see a move out of the risky assets into safe havens, but the safe haven has been the U.S. dollar,” said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig. The dollar index rose to more than a one-week peak, benefiting from safe-haven inflows as Germany and France imposed fresh lockdowns to stem a second coronavirus wave. Ahead of the Nov. 3 election, Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads U.S. President Donald Trump nationally, but the competition is tighter in swing states. “The precious meta

Analysis | The Daily 202: Despite GDP growth, polls suggest Trump’s advantage on economic stewardship is narrowing

James Hohmann 42-54 minutes - Source: The Washington Post The U.S. economy grew at 7.4 percent between July and September, recovering about two-thirds of its losses during the first half of the year. This is a number Trump will ballyhoo for the five days remaining until the election, but the gross domestic product is now about the size it was in the first quarter of 2018. Growing hospitalizations and deaths from the virus, combined with uncertainty about when another stimulus bill might pass, put dark storm clouds above the economy. “ For the economy to recover all that was lost in the previous quarter, third-quarter GDP would have had to surge and hit 10 percent, and even more to make up for smaller first-quarter losses ,” Rachel Siegel and Andrew Van Dam report . “Officials such as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell have long said that a robust and stable recovery depends on controlling the pandemic. … Economists put the risk of a double-dip recess