France Braces for Economic Suffering as Lockdown Returns: Live Updates

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  • Stocks on Wall Street slid on Wednesday, erasing any remaining gains for October, and European shares sank to their lowest levels in months as investors began to worry about the measures governments might take to control the coronavirus pandemic’s new wave.

  • The S&P 500 fell 3.53 percent Wednesday, its biggest one-day drop since June 11. The Stoxx Europe 600 index tumbled 3 percent to its lowest level since May. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index also fell more than 2 percent, to its lowest since April.

  • France and Germany face more severe shutdowns to curb the virus’s spread after localized efforts seem to have failed. In the United States, New Jersey’s largest city, Newark, has imposed a curfew and reinstated some limits on gatherings to control an outbreak there, while other local governments are considering similar steps.

  • Highlighting the economic concern, oil prices fell more than 5 percent, and shares of energy producers were among the worst performing stocks in the S&P 500.

  • Giant technology companies — which exert a large pull on the direction of market indexes — also fell sharply. Apple and Microsoft dropped more than 4 percent, while Google’s parent, Alphabet, slid more than 5 percent.

  • Shares of the aircraft maker Boeing fell after it reported its fourth straight quarterly loss and warned of further layoffs, while Mastercard tumbled after it reported disappointing profit and sales data, with pandemic-related travel disruptions hurting its higher-fee cross-border payments business.

  • Traders on Wall Street had already been on edge as the presidential election approaches and lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on what economists say is an essential plan to support businesses and out-of-work Americans.

  • Expectations that congressional Democrats and the White House would strike a spending deal before the Nov. 3 election had helped lift the S&P 500 early in the month, but with those talks stalled and coronavirus cases reaching a new peak, the American economy is left to face the pandemic without the reassuring flow of federal dollars to prop up small businesses and consumer spending.

  • With Wednesday’s decline included, the S&P 500 is now down more than 7 percent from its highest point in October.

  • “You’ve had everybody pricing in best-case scenarios,” said William Delwiche, an investment strategist at Baird, a financial firm in Milwaukee. “And all of the sudden those aren’t being realized.”

  • President Emmanuel Macron of France imposed a new nationwide lockdown that will begin Thursday night and be in effect through at least Dec. 1. Already, two-thirds of the population lives in areas with a 9 p.m. curfew, but cases have continued to rise.

  • In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the federal states agreed on Wednesday to close restaurants, bars and gyms from Monday to the end of November. Schools, day care facilities and stores will stay open.

  • In Italy, protests have broken out in response…

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