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US stocks bounced back on Wednesday as shares in technology groups powered the Nasdaq Composite to a new closing high as it jumped 1.4 per cent to its fourth record close in five sessions. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 per cent, a day after snapping its longest winning streak of 2020. The tech sector rallied 1.6 per cent, while consumer discretionary and financial shares also posted gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 per cent.
California reported almost 11,700 new cases of coronavirus over the past day, a record single-day increase for any US state during the pandemic. A further 11,694 people in California tested positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, up from 6,090 on Tuesday, governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday. Mr Newsom said the rise was bolstered by a backlog of reported numbers in Los Angeles county, the hardest-hit region in the US.
Argentina’s biggest creditors rejected the government’s latest offer to restructure $65bn of foreign debt on Wednesday, raising fears of protracted negotiations that could hinder attempts to revive the country’s struggling economy. Although government officials have insisted that the proposal announced on Sunday was their final offer, Argentina’s two largest creditor groups said it still “fell short”, even if was “a step in the right direction”.
The Scottish government will require travellers from Spain and several other countries to quarantine for two weeks, saying low levels of coronavirus infections make it too risky to match the UK government’s exemptions for people arriving in England. The decision from Nicola Sturgeon, first minister, faced pressure from the travel and aviation sectors.
More than 100 tourists have tested positive for coronavirus and entered quarantine since Greece reopened to international visitors on July 1, health authorities said on Wednesday. Cases of Covid-19 were reported on the islands of Crete, Corfu, Thasos, Naxos and Karpathos among tourists randomly tested on arrival at Athens or at a regional airport.
Bed Bath & Beyond is to permanently close 200 stores as the homewares chain grapples with a collapse in sales during the pandemic, in a new blow to the US commercial property market. Stores that Bed Bath & Beyond identified for closure equate to about a fifth of the group’s 1,000 namesake outlets.
United Airlines plans to involuntarily furlough up to 36,000 workers as the pandemic cripples demand for air travel. The Chicago-based company said on Wednesday it will send furlough warning notices to 15,100 flight attendants; 11,000 in airport operations; and 2,250 pilots. Other affected employees include catering, technical operations and contact centres.
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued to block US attempts to eject international students whose courses move fully online due to coronavirus. In a case filed in US federal court in Boston, the two universities requested a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to stop a policy announced on Monday that such students should either leave the country or transfer to an in-person course.
Brooks Brothers, the 202-year-old menswear brand, is to file for bankruptcy protection in the US, becoming the latest retailer to be pushed over the edge by the pandemic. The New York-based company, known for its upmarket attire worn by US presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, said it would file for chapter 11 protection in Delaware on Wednesday.