‘Unprecedented’ hedging

Evening Briefing

Traders across major asset classes are sending the same message: Prepare for what could be the most-contentious U.S. presidential election in decades. One measure of "unprecedented" hedging in the stock market is higher than at any point in the past three presidential votes. In the interest-rates market, implied volatility is well above levels reached in 2016 or 2012. And three-month implied volatility in the dollar-yen pair, a classic haven trade, is signaling trouble. "You have a global pandemic as your backdrop, which speaks for itself, and then you have a president that's in a term, volatile, and you have the things going on with the Postal Service," said Zachary Griffiths, a rates strategist at Wells Fargo. "All these factors that don't typically play into an election are impacting things now and that's clearly got people concerned." —David E. Rovella

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Here are today's top stories

In accepting his party's nomination, President Donald Trump at times spoke of the pandemic that's killed 181,000 Americans as largely contained, his first term as an unqualified success and his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, as a socialist. None of that, arguably, is true. Trump has been criticized for offering few policy proposals on how to change America's status as the worst place in the world when it comes to Covid-19 infection and death. What his campaign did accomplish during the Republican National Convention, however, was to effectively blur the traditional separation of government property from political campaigning, while potentially violating federal law barring such behavior more times than any administration in recent memory.

Steve Cohen is joining the stampede of capital flowing into closely held biotech companies. The billionaire founder of Point72 Asset Management (and former target of federal prosecutors) recently incorporated Point72 Biotech Private Investments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a surprise announcement that he would resign to undergo treatment for a chronic illness, ending his run as the country's longest serving premier.

California and other states sued to block one of the Trump administration's biggest efforts to undo decades of environmental protections. They challenged a White House bid to dilute requirements that federal agencies consider environmental consequences when approving new oil wells, pipelines, highways and other projects.

Before the pandemic cleared the skies, Boeing was regularly in the news because of its defective, still-grounded 737 Max, two of which killed 346 people when they crashed. Boeing made a few defective 787 Dreamliners as well.

Belarus opposition supporters march on Aug. 23 in Minsk to protest against widely contested presidential election results.

Photographer: Sergei Gapon/AFP

The government of Belarus shut down access to much of the internet during a widely contested election using equipment manufactured by Sandvine Inc., a U.S. company. In 2017, Sandvine was acquired by California-based private equity firm Francisco Partners in a deal worth $444 million. Francisco Partners then merged Sandvine with Procera Networks, a U.S. company whose commercial relationship with Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union goes way back. Protests following the Belarus election (which strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko purportedly won) were initially crushed, with demonstrators killed and injured, while others were allegedly tortured.

Thousands gathered Friday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to demand racial equality and criminal justice reform on the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech." The National Basketball Association playoffs will resume Saturday following three days of postponements after players protested the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some arenas will be used for voting on election day, part of an agreement between players and the league. More details emerged about the White teenager who allegedly murdered two protesters in Kenosha this week. Kyle Rittenhouse, who attended Trump campaign events and "idolized" police, allegedly shot the men with a semiautomatic rifle, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and then Anthony Huber as Huber tried to disarm the teen. A third victim, Gaige Grosskreutz, was severely injured by gunfire. The three men were protesting the seven shots White Kenosha police employee Rusten Sheskey fired into the back of Blake, who is Black. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, but reportedly handcuffed to his hospital bed.

What you'll need to know tomorrow

What you'll want to read in Bloomberg Pursuits

Thanks to Covid, Luxury Hotels Are Now Home

After a very quiet spring, Julie Danziger, the managing partner of travel advisory firm Embark Beyond, spent the greater part of June and July booking compelling domestic alternatives for her clients, who normally favor Italian villas and Greek resorts at the end of summer. But something strange happened in August: No one was ready to go home.

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