The Wider World

Bears take a bite out of stocks

NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE (Flickr/Modesto Del Rio).

Wall Street took a pratfall on Thursday, tumbling steeply after hitting record highs just days before. The S&P 500 declined by 3.51 percent and Nasdaq by an even bigger chunk, 4.96 percent.

The other major stock index, the Dow Jones Average, dropped 807.7 points (2.78 percent).  Apple stock lost 8 percent of its value, Amazon dropped 4.6 percent and Facebook slid 3.8 percent.

However, those losses didn’t put much of a dent in what’s been a generally positive year for investors, especially those heavily into technology stocks. Despite today’s hiccup, Apple is up 67.4 percent so far in 2020 and Amazon’s risen 82.3 percent. The coronavirus pandemic has boosted Zoom Video stock 460.4 percent.

Since about two-thirds of the economy is based on consumer spending, Friday’s announcement of the U.S. jobs report for August will be noted with interest. Economists are estimating 1.2 million new jobs were added last month, but that would be down from 1.76 million in July and 4.8 million the month before.

The unemployment rate forecast is 9.8 percent, down from 10.2 percent.

Also: Fauci’s worries, Russian denials, Joe in Kenosha

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top epidemiologist, said that the number of new COVID-19 cases – while declining – is still too high. “We’re around 40,000 cases,” he said Wednesday. “That’s an unacceptably high baseline,” especially as fall flu season approaches.
  • The Russian government on Thursday officially denied any connection to the poisoning of dissident Alexei Navalny. German sources said he had been dosed with an illegal nerve agent similar to what nearly killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in 2018.
  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden visited Kenosha, Wisconsin Thursday, saying that “we’re finally getting to the point where we’re going to be addressing the original sin of this country, 400 years old … slavery and all the vestiges of it.” Kensoha is the site of the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, who is now paralyzed. President Donald Trump visited the city on Tuesday.

A very warm Labor Day weekend

West Orange County will be turning up its air conditioning and heading for the shore on Friday as the National Weather Service is issuing an excessive heat warning for much of the Southwest. It will be sunny and 87 degrees for a high. But the thermometer will really jump on Saturday, with a 105 degree temperature. Slightly cooler on Sunday (102) and Monday (94). Highs along the beaches will be lower, 77 on Friday, 86 on Saturday and 89 in Sunday. Labor Day looks like 83.

A clean sweep for local teams

Here is the schedule for local pro sports teams on Thursday. Times are local (Pacific). Scores will be posted when available.

  • Dodgers 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 1. Clayton Kershaw (5-1) turned in another sterling performance against the D-backs. He pitched six one-hit shutout innings as the team improved to 29-10. Corey Seager had three hits and A.J. Pullock had a pinch-hit home run.
  • Angels 2, San Diego Padres 0. Andrew Heaney won his third game of 2020 by pitching seven three-hit shutout innings in Anaheim. He struck out six batters and walked two. Anthony Rendon doubled and tripled and scored once. The Angels are now 13-25.
  • Clippers 120, Denver Nuggets, 97. Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points as the Clips took a 1-0 lead in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. Paul George added 19 and Marcus Morris Sr. 18 in the win.

 

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