Fiscal drag, viral carousel, and another stalled week in U.S. recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. hiring last week remained sluggish, retail foot traffic dipped, and a surge in coronavirus cases across the Upper Midwest even dented what had been a carefree rush back to restaurants.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. National Guard members standby outside the Wisconsin State Fair exposition center where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had previously built a field hospital which will be activated to treat COVID-19 patients after the state saw a surge in cases, in West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S., October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski

The outbreaks in states like South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin are the latest in the country’s carousel battle with the pandemic as hotspots rotate from one region to another, preventing any broad recovery of confidence or the economy.

Since an early summer jump in U.S. economic activity, data across a broad set of high-frequency indicators has shown little evidence of the sort of

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Global central bankers say fiscal aid crucial in new phase of pandemic battle

(Reuters) – Top U.S. and European central bankers on Tuesday called for renewed government spending to support families and businesses as the battle against the coronavirus-triggered recession enters a newly critical phase.

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing examining the quarterly CARES Act report to Congress, in Washington, DC, U.S., September 24, 2020. Drew Angerer/Pool via REUTERS

Hopes for new fiscal support in the United States, however, were dealt a serious blow when President Donald Trump abruptly canceled ongoing negotiations with Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The growth in new COVID-19 cases is again accelerating in parts of the United States and Europe, raising the prospect of new restrictions on commerce even as whole industries and millions of households are still reeling from those imposed in the spring during

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Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) Q3 fiscal 2020 sales fall 27%

Levi Strauss & Co. shares soared more than 9% Tuesday after the denim maker reported online sales growth of 52%, which helped offset losses elsewhere in the business during the fiscal third quarter. 

Management told analysts it expects the strong performance will continue into the holiday quarter, though it is calling for sales to be down 14% to 15% year over year during the period, assuming the pandemic does not worsen. The company also said it will stop paying a dividend in the fourth quarter, but it aims to resume payouts in 2021, should the positive trends continue. 

Levi’s third-quarter sales fell 27% due to coronavirus pandemic-related store closures, and net income tumbled 78%. But the declines were less than the company had anticipated, topping internal targets. 

CEO Chip Bergh cited recent investments in building out Levi’s direct-to-consumer business for the stronger-than-expected performance. The company also gained market share in

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