Global shares fall…House passes COVID relief…
UNDATED (AP) – Global shares and U.S. stock futures have fallen after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier, Dow and S&P futures dropped nearly 2%, but several hours later were trading 1.2% lower. Oil prices tumbled about 3%. Shares are down in Paris, Frankfurt, London and Tokyo. Many markets in Asia were closed for holidays. The Nikkei 225 index shed strong early gains after the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed trading today following an all day outage due to a technical failure.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats controlling the House narrowly have passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, a move that came as top-level talks on a smaller, potentially bipartisan measure dragged on toward an uncertain finish. The Democratic bill passed Thursday after a partisan debate without any Republicans in support. The move puts lawmakers no closer to actually delivering aid such as more generous weekly unemployment payments, extended help for small businesses and especially troubled economic sectors and another round of $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.
LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to speak with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to “take stock” of negotiations on a post-Brexit free trade deal and to “discuss next steps.” The U.K. announcement comes as both sides are winding up another weeklong session of detailed negotiations on a rudimentary free trade agreement that should come in force once a Brexit transition period ends Dec. 31. Little progress has been made on such a deal sine the U.K. left the bloc at the end of January.
TOKYO (AP) – Honda says it will pull out of Formula One at the end of the 2021 season as it shifts to a goal of carbon neutrality. Honda is the engine supplier for the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams. It had resumed competition in F1 in 2015. The company says it wants to focus on “carbon neutrality by 2050.” Red Bull Racing says it is “disappointed” but notes the success of the partnership with Max Verstappen scoring Honda’s first victory since 2006 at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix. That was followed by three other wins and 13 podium finishes.
NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon says that nearly 20,000 of its workers have either tested positive or been presumed positive for COVID-19. Amazon said in a corporate blog Thursday that it examined data from March 1 to Sept. 19 for its 1.37 million workers at Amazon and Whole Foods Market. It says that it compared COVID-19 case rates to the general population, as reported by Johns Hopkins University for the same period. Based on that analysis, if the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods employees were the same as it is for the general population rate, it estimated it would have seen 33,952 cases among its workforce.