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Investors Creep Back After Worst Market Rout in Years – The New York Times, Nytimes.com

Investors Creep Back After Worst Market Rout in Years – The New York Times, Nytimes.com

Investors returned one day after coronavirus fears and oil market disruptions caused the biggest sell-off in a decade. Still, bonds and gold prices signaled persistent worries.

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Major European markets opened 2 percent higher.

(The departure hall of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday.) (Credit … ) Philip Fong / Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Global shares rise, but investors remain skittish.

Investors moved back into the markets on Tuesday, one day aft er the coronavirus and a battle among the world’s largest oil producers shook the global financial scene.

European stocks opened higher, led by a rise of more than 2 percent in London. Asian markets finished higher as well.

Futures markets indicated that Wall Street would follow the trend.

The gains did not make up for the global plunge in markets on Monday. Wall Street posted its worst performance in over a decade. In Asia and Europe on Monday, some of the biggest financial exchanges flirted with, or crossed into, bear market territory.

Markets still showed plenty of signs of nervousness on Tuesday. Yields on U.S. government debt rose slightly but remained close to record lows. The price of gold fell slightly on futures markets.

The price of oil, which had slumped by a quarter on Monday, rose nearly 7 percent on Tuesday, with futures tracking the price of Brent crude trading at about $ 65. a barrel.

(South Korea puts limits on short sellers after its market slump.)

South Korean officials on Tuesday moved to protect domestic companies one day after a brutal sell-off.

The government said it would tighten a rule banning the short sale of stocks that meet certain daily trading criteria over the next three months. The move was “in response to the expanded market volatility of late,” said Hong Nam-ki, South Korea’s finance minister.

Some of the country’s most valuable companies lost billions of dollars on Monday. Its market inched closer to bear territory, which is when stocks fall by (percent from a recent high.

Short sellers borrow the stock of a company to sell in the hopes that they can buy it back at a lower price and pocket the difference. Free market proponents argue that it is a crucial part of a healthy market. But the act is often blamed for making a market downturn worse.

China’s ‘lazy economy’ booms amid the outbreak.

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With hundreds of millions of people in China cooped up at home for nearly two months now, demand for small appliances has surged as a new class of involuntary shut-ins channel their boredom into cooking and cleaning.

Sales of air fryers – which use circulating hot air to cook food quickly, offering a healthy alternative to deep-frying – soared more than seven times year-on-year, according to (data) in February from Suning, a major retailer in China. Sales of self-heating lunchboxes surged as well.

Households have also gone on cleaning sprees. Home sterilizing equipment surged, of course, but so did sales of vacuum cleaners, according to Suning.

In China, the trend is called the “lazy economy,” referring to devices and products bought by urbanites who want to save time and energy on household chores. But laziness most likely has little to do with it now, as Chinese people learn new ways to cook and take care of their homes. Travel restrictions and virtual quarantines give them little else to do.

(Oil shock ripples through the global financial system.)

Markets in the United States plummeted on Monday as a panic that began in the oil market set off a chain reaction that rumbled across the world, adding to concerns about the global economy.

It was Wall Street’s worst day in more than a decade. The S&P , already down percent from its late February high, fell more than 7 percent on Monday. The sudden drop tripped automatic “circuit breakers,” halting trading for minutes – a rare occurrence meant to prevent stocks from crashing.

The plunge was the largest in the United States since December 2020, when investors were still reeling from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the housing crisis that dragged the economy into a recession. It put the index close to (percent below its record high, a drop that would have ended the bull market for stocks that began exactly years ago.

In what appears to be the first publicly confirmed case of the outbreak hitting New York’s financial-services industry, an employee at Point , the hedge fund run by Steven A. Cohen, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

the employee, whose name has not been made pu blic, is based at Point 96 ‘s Hudson Yards location on Manhattan’s west side, and works on the building’s 27 th floor, in a part of the company known as the back office, where accounting and other support work is done, said a company official. Suspecting he or she might have been infected, the person self-quarantined about a week ago, the official said, and has not been in the office since.

In the interest of safety, other workers based on the th floor have been asked to work at home for the next two weeks, the Point 90 official said, and both the affected floor and other company office space is being deep-cleaned in the interim.

“We are taking the COVID- seriously seriously, ”the company said in a statement Monday evening. Moreover, the statement added, “We have extensive business continuity plans in place to ensure the Firm can continue to operate.” The positive result was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Disney’s Asia parks remain closed. In the United States, it’s business as usual.

With the State Department advising against traveling on cruise ships because of the coronavirus and an increasing number of conventions and festivals canceled, Disney’s theme parks in Florida and California on Monday started their high-volume spring-break season as usual: gridlocked.

But the coronavirus continued to cause major problems for Disney overseas. The company Asian theme park operation – four parks in China and Japan that together attract . 2 million visitors annually – has been closed, and Disney expects its China parks to remain shuttered until the end of March.

The Shanghai property began a “phased reopening” on Monday by allowing guests to enter a shopping and dining area outside the park gates. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea are scheduled to reopen next Monday.

Disney Cruise Line, which operates four ships that can carry , 581 People at any given time, remains open.

A Disney spokeswoman declined to comment on Monday.

Since Feb. 4, Disney’s stock price has declined percent, to about $ . The S&P has fallen about percent over that period.

SEC advises employees in Washington to work from home.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, in response to a potential coronavirus case, on Monday required a part of its staff to stay away from the agency’s Washington headquarters and advised all other employees there to work from home as well, a person briefed on the matter said.

An email that the agency sent to workers said the requirement applied to those on the ninth floor of the headquarters, the person confirmed. The email said a doctor had told an S.E.C. employee with respiratory symptoms earlier that they could be caused by the coronavirus. The move was reported earlier by The Washington Post.

As bookings fall, Qantas says it will reduce service over six months.

Australia’s Qantas Group said on Monday that it would cut service by almost a quarter over the next six months because of a “sudden and significant drop” in bookings. The carrier also announced pay cuts for its board and executive team.

“We expect lower demand to continue for the next several months, so rather than taking a piecemeal approach we’re cutting capacity out to mid-September, ”Alan Joyce, Qantas’s chief executive,

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Airlines around the world have been announcing similar moves in recent days as the coronavirus’s rapid spread has contributed to a steep drop-off in global flight demand.

Qantas will reduce service to Asia by 51 percent, while flights to the United States will be cut 31 percent. The airline also withdrew its earnings guidance for the fiscal year that ends in June.

To cut costs, the airline also said that it would cancel a planned share buyback, eliminate management bonuses for the fiscal year, reduce board and executive management pay by percent and offer paid and unpaid leave. It also said that Mr. Joyce would not take a salary.

Reporting and research were contributed by Alexandra Stevenson, Kate Kelly, Matthew Goldstein, Brooks Barnes and Niraj Chokshi.

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