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Stock Markets Whipsaw as Investors Watch Outbreaks

Stock Markets Whipsaw as Investors Watch Outbreaks

Stock Markets Whipsaw as Investors Watch Outbreaks

Europe seesaws after significant losses in Asia.

Major European stock markets fluctuated on Monday amid worries about the persistence of the coronavirus pandemic, paving the way for a turbulent day on Wall Street.

Markets in Europe were modestly higher in late-morning trading, rebounding from a jagged decline earlier in the day.

Asian markets fell heavily, following a sharp drop on Friday in Wall Street. Japanese stocks led the decline, losing more than 2 percent.

Futures markets indicated that Wall Street would open modestly higher. Prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, a traditional investment haven, fell in overnight trading.

Investors have been watching nervously as coronavirus cases rise in the United States and in places where the disease had seemed to be initially under control, like Europe. The global death total reached 500,000 on Sunday, according to a New York Times database. The number of confirmed cases passed the 10 million level.

Gunmen assault Pakistan’s stock exchange, killing at least three.

Gunmen tried to storm Pakistan’s stock exchange in the city of Karachi on Monday, killing at least three security officers, the police said.

Officials reported that four gunmen drove up to the gate in front of the exchange and that two managed to enter the parking area before all four were killed in a nearly hourlong firefight with security forces. Officials and traders were reported to have taken shelter inside the exchange during the shooting, officials said.

The Baluchistan Liberation Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack in social media posts identified as belonging to the group.

The B.L.A. is an ethnic Baluch insurgent movement in Baluchistan Province, a resource-rich region of Pakistan that has long been racked by violence. In recent years, the group has targeted Chinese interests in the region, which is a center for huge development projects that are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Three months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down offices, corporate America has concluded that working from home is working out. Many employees will be tethered to Zoom and Slack for the rest of their careers, their commute accomplished in seconds.

Richard Laermer has some advice for companies rushing pell-mell into this remote future: Don’t be an idiot.

A few years ago, Mr. Laermer let the employees of RLM Public Relations work from home on Fridays. This small step toward telecommuting proved a disaster, he said. He often could not find people when he needed them. Projects languished.

IBM came to a similar decision. In 2009, 40 percent of its 386,000 employees in 173 countries worked remotely. But in 2017, with revenue tumbling, management called tens of thousands back to the office.

Even as Facebook, Shopify, Zillow, Twitter and many other companies are developing plans to let employees work remotely forever, the experiences of Mr. Laermer and IBM are a reminder that the history of telecommuting has been strewn with failure. The companies are barreling forward but run the risk of the same fate.

“Working from home is a strategic move, not just a tactical one that saves money,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. “A lot of it comes down to trust. Do you trust your people?”

Few areas of the country rely on tourism more than Central Florida, which is home to Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal, Gatorland, Legoland and a plethora of smaller attractions. An estimated 250,000 people work in the leisure and hospitality industries, accounting for 25 percent of jobs in the area, according to the trade organization Visit Orlando.

Most workers whose livelihood depends on Orlando’s ability to attract tourists in large numbers have managed to get by as the amusement economy shut down around them — though for some it has been a struggle.

Many Americans have received one-time stimulus payments from the federal government, but Unite Here, a union representing 30,000 hospitality workers in the Orlando area, recently said that at least 1,500 members had yet to receive any unemployment payments from the state.

Florida has been one of the slowest states to process jobless claims, in part because its system was designed to be arduous.

“We were both calling about a hundred times a day for weeks trying to get through to somebody, anybody,” said Paul Cox, a lighting, video and audio technician at the Walt Disney World Resort. His wife, Julia Cox, who has a similar professional specialty elsewhere in the Disney complex, added that “calling that number became my full-time job.”

Mr. Cox said the couple made a color-coded spreadsheet to keep track of the calls — more than 4,000 of them.

When the coronavirus prompted states to order residents to stay at home in March, unemployment surged around the country as huge parts of the economy slowed or stopped. Soon after, there were calls for philanthropists, charitably inclined people and even occasional donors to accelerate any giving they were planning to do.

They stepped up, it turns out, giving more and giving faster then they typically do.

According a report released on Friday from Fidelity Charitable, which has become the largest grant maker in the country by managing thousands of individual donor-advised funds, those donors have given $3.4 billion nationwide since the start of the year, up at least 28 percent from a year earlier.

“Despite the economic environment, all the uncertainty at a personal level, people looked outside of themselves and gave to charity,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable.

Debra Mailman, who has spent the two years since she retired as an executive at Microsoft volunteering in disaster zones, initially slowed her giving, shocked by the sudden drop in value in the investments in her donor-advised fund.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I did the same thing everyone did: I looked at the stock market and said, ‘Oh, my God,’” she said. “Then I held my nose and said, ‘Forget that — the money isn’t mine anymore. It will do more work out there.’” — Paul Sullivan

Catch up: Here’s what else is happening.

  • Walt Disney Studios pushed back the theatrical release of its live-action remake of “Mulan,” leaving July without any big-budget movie releases and delaying a hoped-for recovery at cinemas. “Mulan” is set to arrive in theaters on Aug. 21 instead of July 24.

Reporting was contributed by Carlos Tejada, Salman Masood, Eve Edelheit, Paul Sullivan, David Streitfeld and Brooks Barnes.

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