Asian markets fall as recovery challenges mount.
Asian markets fell on Wednesday as economies struggled to recover from the coronavirus outbreak, extending Wall Street’s losses from the day before.
Most markets in the region were down, if moderately. Prices for most U.S. Treasury bonds were higher, signaling investor unease. Futures markets were predicting Wall Street would open lower, though by less than 1 percent.
Markets fell on Tuesday in the United States after officials warned that fully reopening the country’s economy could be a long and protracted process. Investors continue to watch warily as sporadic infections break out in places that had seemed to have the coronavirus under control.
Oil prices fell after gains over the last several days, indicating concerns that the world has too much oil and not enough demand for burning it.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.8 percent at midday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.1 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2 percent. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.4 percent.
South Korea’s Kospi, bucking the regional trend, was up 0.2 percent.
Stocks on Wall Street drop with sell-off that picked up near end of trading.
Stocks fell on Tuesday as reports from China, South Korea and the United States offered sobering reminders to investors of how long and difficult the coronavirus recovery is likely to be.
The S&P 500 dropped about 2 percent, a decline that picked up steam as the day progressed.
Investors had plenty of reasons for concern. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a central figure in the U.S. government’s coronavirus response, warned lawmakers on Tuesday that “needless suffering and death” would result if the country opened up too quickly. In China, the city of Wuhan, which seemed to have tamed its outbreak, has reported six new infections in recent days, while cases have also risen in the northern part of the country.
Markets have been able to shrug off a number of risks to the economy lately, but investors, who are already worried about an economic conflict between the world’s two largest economies, have been spooked lately by rising tension between the United States and China over the coronavirus outbreak.
Yields on government bonds also fell on Tuesday, reflecting a lowering of expectations for the economy by investors.
Tesla’s California car factory was shipping out new cars on Tuesday despite a county order prohibiting it from restarting production and even as local officials continued to try to negotiate with the company.
It was not clear how many cars Tesla is making. But on Tuesday, trucks were leaving the factory, which is the Bay Area city of Fremont, with new sedans and sport-utility vehicles. New cars were also parked in rows outside the factory. The parking lot for employees was also filled.
Tesla’s head of human resources for North America, Valerie Workman, sent an email to employees on Monday saying that their furloughs had ended on Sunday. She told employees they would be contacted within 24 hours about when to return to work.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
The county’s director for health care services, Colleen Chawla, sent a letter to Tesla late Monday saying that the company was violating its order. “We hope that Tesla — like other businesses who have been notified of noncompliance — comes into compliance with the order without the need for additional enforcement measures,” Ms. Chawla said.
On Tuesday, the county said that it had received Tesla’s plan for reopening the plant and was reviewing it. The plant is Tesla’s main source of revenue and has been closed for more than a month. County officials have said they were working with Tesla on an agreement to reopen the plant on May 18. But Tesla sued the county on Saturday in United States District Court in San Francisco, arguing that the county’s order was unconstitutional and contradicted an order by Gov. Gavin Newsom that permits manufacturing statewide.
The state has authorized a resumption of manufacturing, Mr. Newsom said Monday, but he added that “we recognize localism” and “if a county doesn’t want to go as far,” local orders would prevail.
In her email, Ms. Workman said employees who were uncomfortable returning to work could stay home on unpaid leave.
Shortages of safety gear and staff. Workers who may inadvertently be carriers. A disease that preys on older people with underlying health conditions. There are many reasons the coronavirus has hit nursing homes so hard.
Add the design of the buildings to the list.
With shared resident rooms off long corridors and vast dining rooms where everyone mingles, nursing homes may have been laid out to be efficient and cost effective. But these very features have also allowed the virus to spread from person to person in what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York called “a feeding frenzy.”
New York State has become a pandemic hot spot. “Why are we seeing such a high rate in nursing homes?” asked Richard J. Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, an advocacy group for residents. “Maybe it’s because some nursing homes are so big.”
Before the pandemic, a movement under the banner of “culture change” was challenging the institutional model, calling for dividing up large nursing home populations into small, self-sufficient units with kitchens, private rooms and a dedicated staff. Now, anecdotal reports suggest that private rooms may be having more success at keeping the coronavirus at bay.
Catch up: Here’s what else is happening.
Walmart said on Tuesday that it would give another round of bonuses to its workers in the United States: $300 for full-time workers and $150 for part-time and temporary workers, for a total of more than $390 million. The retailer said it had committed more than $935 million in bonuses for its workers so far this year.
Reporting was contributed by Carlos Tejada, Mohammed Hadi, Vikas Bajaj, Niraj Chokshi, Neal Boudette, Jane Margolies and Gregory Schmidt.