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The Record Market, Explained

2020-08-19 10:30:02

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3. Betting on a vaccine: Given the daily headlines about the potential for a vaccine, investors want to be invested in the market when the news comes that there is a genuine vaccine, on the assumption that it will send stocks even higher.

4. The only game in town: With the Federal Reserve planning to print money for the foreseeable future, investors don’t want to be in cash or bonds, which are steadily losing value. So where else can they put their money? The stock market has become a default.

5. Help from Washington: As dysfunctional as Congress has proved to be, investors are betting that Republicans and Democrats will find a way to keep plying the economy with stimulus. (Anecdotal stories suggest some Americans have even taken their $600 unemployment checks and invested them in the stock market.)

Of course, all of these rationalizations don’t take into account the possibility of a terrible second or third coronavirus wave, a delay in the discovery of a vaccine, a constitutional crisis come the election in November, runaway inflation, the prospect of higher taxes to pay for the stimulus, a more significant trade war with China, or the dozens of other risks that seem to be bubbling just below — and in some cases on — the surface.

In the meantime, happy trading!

For more on the economy: Many Americans are still avoiding malls, restaurants and other businesses despite the end of strict lockdowns across much of the country, a Times analysis of cellphone data found. Their behavior suggests the economic recovery could be prolonged and uneven.

A project to help clear the drinking water supply, which was supposed to have wrapped up last year, was delayed by the pandemic. The virus has also deepened city residents’ problems, with job opportunities more scarce and violent crime spiking.

“First the water crisis, and now here comes Covid,” said one resident, who for two weeks sustained herself on oranges as she battled the virus. “We’re in double challenge mode.”

Feeling overwhelmed, anxious and abandoned, the vast majority of parents across America have resigned themselves to the idea that school will be remote for some time, a new survey for The New York Times has found. That means some degree of online learning for most children after a disastrous end to the last school year that largely took place remotely.

With school from home looking like the default for the foreseeable future, here are three ideas to make it go more smoothly.

Emphasize interaction. Educators should lead videoconference sessions that give students face time with teachers and their peers, argues Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, a nonprofit online education organization. “Lesson plans designed for in-person classes don’t work in this coronavirus world,” he writes in a Times Op-Ed.

Keep lessons short. Live instruction should be broken up into smaller chunks spaced throughout the day, the education researchers Benjamin Cottingham and Alix Gallagher write in The Los Angeles Times. “Even adults have trouble videoconferencing for long stretches. For the youngest students, it is nearly impossible.”

Support parents. In the spring, “too many of our students and our young students were left home to navigate the virtual learning on their own with no support at home,” Marnie Hazelton, a New Jersey superintendent, told The Times survey found that one in five parents was considering hiring an in-person private teacher or tutor, though that option is largely limited to those with sufficient financial means. Ideally, schools would assign virtual counselors and tutors to ease the burden for the rest.

You can read more on this issue in the Coronavirus Schools Briefing.

For a bright summer dish, make spicy cucumbers with yogurt and lemon. The simple yogurt sauce is elevated with herbs and lemon zest, then topped with cucumbers marinated in a spicy oil.

Making a good jam is easy, explained Ashley Rouse, the founder of Trade Street Jam Company. The hard part, she said, is “everything that comes after.”

For Black jam makers, systemic racism across the craft food movement means obstacles in scaling their businesses, getting book deals and receiving widespread recognition. “It’s easier for white makers to get these opportunities than for people of color,” Rouse said. And if they make mistakes, “people are more willing to forgive.”

Marcus Bridgewater — known to his fans as Garden Marcus — built a following on TikTok for his calming videos about plant care that often double as life lessons.

In one clip, he plants a sweet potato vine in a new spot to help it flourish. “It can be difficult to re-root, establish new relationships, grow beyond the old form,” he narrates, “but it can also be what’s needed to create new and healthier roots in our future.”

In a new interview, he shares some more gardening wisdom.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: One way to vote in a presidential election (five letters).

You can find all of our puzzles here.


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