Fear of fall

Evening Briefing

Americans are again cutting back on flights and going out to eat less often. Public-transit use is still low while jobless numbers remain four times as high as pre-pandemic levels. With no effective vaccine likely to appear before 2021, Wall Street is resigning itself to a grim fall. Goldman Sachs halved its forecast for growth and pay cuts introduced by employers in the spring are looking permanent. The virus is also taking a toll on U.S. college enrollment. More darkly, France and the U.K. reported the highest number of infections since the crisis started. On Wednesday alone, there were 262,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide and more than 5,500 deaths. Here is the latest on the pandemic. —David E. Rovella

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Here are today's top stories

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they remain willing to discuss a second coronavirus bailout. Stocks climbed, but many lawmakers remain skeptical any new deal can be done before the Nov. 3 election, in part due to the furor surrounding a Republican plan to force through a Supreme Court nomination before then. Nevertheless, some House Democrats are putting together a new $2.4 trillion rescue proposal to restart talks.

Senator Elizabeth Warren pressed Fed Chair Jerome Powell to use more tools to lessen racial economic disparities, a potential preview of pressures the central bank may face if Joe Biden becomes president. Meanwhile, the Democratic nominee's search for a potential Treasury secretary may be focusing on the Fed's Lael Brainard, a choice that might keep both Wall Street and progressives in line.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday refused to guarantee a peaceful transition of power if he were to lose the election. His historically unprecedented response triggered condemnation by Congressional Democrats, who accused the Republican of threatening American democracy. Other Republicans shied away from criticizing Trump or his remarks while pledging there would be an orderly transfer of power.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told a federal judge that the U.S. Postal Service can't reassemble high speed mail-sorting machines he ordered disassembled, a move more than a dozen states said was intended to undermine the coming election. U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian had ordered DeJoy to fix what he broke, blasting cuts to postal capacity made by the Republican megadonor, saying it was "easy to conclude" his effort was intended to disrupt the legitimacy of mail-in balloting. Bastian noted that 72% of the sorting machines decommissioned by DeJoy were located in counties where Hillary Clinton got the most votes in 2016. Meanwhile, internal Postal Service documents reportedly reveal that the cuts were ordered at the agency's highest levels, contradicting previous statements by DeJoy's representatives.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Move over Jack Ma. With almost $59 billion, this bottled-water and vaccine tycoon has become China's wealthiest person.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have sufficiently sweetened his government spending plan to avoid an election.

Carbonated waters from LaCroix, Poland Spring and Perrier all have levels of certain chemicals that are slightly higher than what scientists deem safe, according to Consumer Reports.

What you'll need to know tomorrow

Correction: Peloton was misidentified in Wednesday's edition of the Evening Briefing.

What you'll want to read in Bloomberg Technology

Amazon Security Cam Flies Around Your Home 

Amazon has built a camera on a small drone designed to fly around the house and investigate suspicious activity. The Ring Always Home Cam moves autonomously and is equipped with an indoor camera, giving users multiple viewpoints of their homes. The drone, which can take a path around that's pre-determined by the user, costs $250.

Ring Always Home Cam

Source: Amazon.com Inc.

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