[As I have said, the real problem is not the disease. The REAL PROBLEM is the economic meltdown from this deliberate strategy to destroy all economies. Its going to be bad in South Africa, but it seems to be very bad in the USA too.
div>One thing whites will learn from this is that politics is not something you can ignore and leave to others while you make money. Money can melt away … and disappear. Politics is MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY. I learned this earlier in my life. Jan]
Stocks Slide as Retail Sales Suffer Historic Plunge: Live Updates
Amazon said it might halt its operations in France after a court ruled that the company had failed to adequately protect workers.
Stocks tumble after bleak data highlights pandemic’s economic impact.
The retreat Wednesday came the day after the S&P 500 hit a one-month high.Credit…Ted Shaffrey/Associated Press
Stocks tumbled on Wednesday as investors faced a stream of bad news about the economic damage caused by efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, including data that showed a historic plunge in retail sales and a slump in factory output.
The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3 percent in early trading. Stocks in Europe were also lower, and Asia had a downbeat day.
The retreat Wednesday came the day after the S&P 500 hit a one-month high. Though still far from a Feb. 19 record, stocks in the United States have been steadily climbing in recent weeks as investors have begun to focus on the prospect of an eventual rebound from the economic collapse set off by the pandemic.
But on Wednesday, they were confronted by a number of reports that highlight just how badly the economy is faring. The Commerce Department said that retail sales in March dropped 8.7 percent as consumers were forced to stay home, and the Federal Reserve said industrial production and manufacturing output in the United States fell by the most since 1946.
The German Economy Ministry said economic output in Europe’s largest economy was likely to plunge almost 10 percent from April through June.
As they reported earnings, the nation’s banks also raised more warnings about the potential for a wave of defaults on loans, saying that they are stockpiling cash in anticipation of losses. Shares of Citigroup and Bank of America tumbled after those reports.
Oil producers were also sharply lower on Wednesday, following another slump in crude oil prices. Despite last weekend’s deal between OPEC and Russia to cut production, the world oil market remains enormously oversupplied, with further falls in price possible, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
The agency forecast that global demand for oil would fall about one-third this month, or 29 million barrels a day, because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, while supplies will remain high because of production increases during the now-ended price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Prices for benchmark American crude tumbled below $20 a barrel and are down nearly 70 percent this year. Energy stocks were worst-performing part of the market, dropping more than 6 percent.
Airline stocks climbed after they and the Trump administration reached an agreement in principle over the terms of a $25 billion bailout for the industry.
U.S. retailers suffered a record decline in sales last month.
RETAIL AND FOOD SERVICES SALES
Percentage change from previous month
Note: Seasonally adjusted
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
By The New York Times
Another bleak economic reckoning from the coronavirus pandemic arrived on Wednesday: the biggest one-month plunge in U.S. retail sales in the nearly three decades of record keeping.
Grocery stores, pharmacies and other sellers of essential items experienced a surge of demand last month. But that was outweighed by a steep decline in other categories as businesses shuttered and shoppers restricted their spending.
The Commerce Department’s preliminary report showed a seasonally adjusted drop of 8.7 percent from February’s total sales, which include purchases in stores and online, auto and gasoline sales and money spent at bars and restaurants.
Spending on cars and car parts fell by more than 25 percent in March. Sales at gas stations, pushed down by low oil prices as well as reduced commuting, fell 17 percent. And sales at clothing stores fell by more than half.
Even those bleak figures do not fully capture the economic deep freeze. Most states did not issue shutdown orders to nonessential businesses until late March or early April, meaning data for the current month could be worse still.
Until now, the largest one-month downturn in retail sales came in the fall of 2008, when the financial crisis led spending to fall nearly 4 percent for two straight months.