Worse news to come

Evening Briefing

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits for the first time fell last week by 9,000 to 840,000, according to U.S. government data. Continuing unemployment claims fell to 11 million. Nevertheless, seven months into the pandemic, initial claims are four times pre-virus level and higher than their peak during the financial crisis more than a decade ago. And there is worse news to come, as recent layoff announcements from companies including Walt Disney and Allstate and multiple airlines have yet to register. As the back-and-forth in Washington over a second coronavirus bailout bill continues, standalone airline relief was rejected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is demanding a broader rescue package. —David E. Rovella

Bloomberg is mapping the pandemic globally and across America. For the latest news, sign up for our Covid-19 podcast and daily newsletter.

Here are today's top stories

Goldman Sachs is warning that the stock market faces the possibility of significant declines ahead of the U.S. election, given the economic and political unpredictability of the next few weeks.

Morgan Stanley agreed to purchase Eaton Vance for about $7 billion—Chief Executive Officer James Gorman's second major acquisition this year and one that helps tilt the investment bank more toward money management.

The 50 richest Americans now hold almost as much wealth as half of the U.S., as Covid-19 transforms the economy in ways that have disproportionately rewarded a small class of billionaires.

After the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that next week's debate will be virtual to protect against the spread of Covid-19, President Donald Trump said he will back out rather than face former Vice President Joe Biden remotely. As a result, Biden said he will hold his own virtual town hall instead. Trump, who is infected with the coronavirus, constantly interrupted Biden and the moderator during the first debate. Last night, their running mates faced off in more traditional fashion, though Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris muddled some facts.

Senator Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic vice presidential nominee,  and Republican Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City Oct. 7.

Photographer: Pool/Getty Images North America

Biden is considering creating a special White House office led by a climate "czar" to coordinate efforts to fight global warming and the accelerating climate crisis if he is elected president. Trump has called climate change a hoax and his administration has spent the past four years attempting to reverse Obama administration efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

A top White House security official is gravely ill with Covid-19 and has been hospitalized since September, adding to the growing list of Trump aides and White House officials who have been infected with the pathogen. Trump reportedly required personnel at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to sign non-disclosure agreements before they could treat him last year. Here is the latest on the pandemic.

Republicans are downplaying the threat to reproductive rights posed by Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's last-minute nominee to the Supreme Court who Democrats warn may help outlaw abortion. While seeking to mollify their right-wing base, Republican senators are worried confirmation hearings next week could alienate other voters who support a woman's right to choose.

What you'll need to know tomorrow

What you'll want to read in Bloomberg Opinion

Small War May Presage a Major Power Conflict

Small wars can tell you a lot about the biggest geopolitical and military issues of the day, Hal Brands writes in Bloomberg Opinion. Consider the present conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. The fighting there reveals key fault lines in an increasingly disordered global environment, and it underscores crucial trends in the evolution of modern warfare, trends the U.S. military should take heed of.

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What new technologies will bring together the consumer, "prosumer" and the intelligent grid? Join us on Oct. 22 for the final briefing in our Smart Cities series, Innovation and Disruption at the Grid Edge. Hear from the CEOs of Siemens Smart Infrastructure, Octopus Energy and Highview Power on how decentralization and digitization of power generation and the grid are becoming the new reality. Register here.

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