Stock Markets Whipsaw as Investors Watch Outbreaks

Europe seesaws after significant losses in Asia.

Major European stocks fell on Monday after an initial opening surge, paving the way for a turbulent day on Wall Street.

Stocks in France were down nearly 1 percent in morning trading, pacing major European markets. Earlier, stocks in London, Paris and Frankfurt were higher before worries about the persistence of the coronavirus pandemic sent shares lower.

Asian markets fell more heavily, following a sharp drop on Friday in Wall Street. Japanese stocks led the fall with a drop of more than 2 percent.

Other signs suggested that investors were more optimistic than the volatile European markets indicated. Futures markets indicated that Wall Street would open modestly higher. Prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, a traditional investment safe haven, fell in overnight trading.

Investors have been watching nervously as coronavirus cases rise in the United States and in places where the disease had seemed to be initially under control, like Europe. The global death total reached 500,000 on Sunday, according to a New York Times database. The number of confirmed cases passed the 10 million level.

Gunmen assault Pakistan’s stock exchange; at least eight killed.

Gunmen tried to storm Pakistan’s stock exchange in the city of Karachi on Monday, killing at least four security officers, the police said.

Officials reported that four gunmen drove up to the gate in front of the exchange and that two managed to enter the parking area before all four were killed in a nearly hourlong firefight with security forces. Officials and traders were reported to have taken shelter inside the exchange during the shooting, officials said.

The Baluchistan Liberation Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack in social media postings identified as belonging to the group.

When the coronavirus prompted states to order residents to stay at home in March, unemployment surged around the country as huge parts of the economy slowed or stopped. Soon after, there were calls for philanthropists, charitably inclined people and even occasional donors to accelerate any giving they were planning to do.

They stepped up, it turns out, giving more and giving faster then they typically do.

According a report released on Friday from Fidelity Charitable, which has become the largest grant maker in the country by managing thousands of individual donor-advised funds, those donors have given $3.4 billion nationwide since the start of the year, up at least 28 percent from a year earlier.

“Despite the economic environment, all the uncertainty at a personal level, people looked outside of themselves and gave to charity,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable.

Debra Mailman, who has spent the two years since she retired as an executive at Microsoft volunteering in disaster zones, initially slowed her giving, shocked by the sudden drop in value in the investments in her donor-advised fund.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I did the same thing everyone did: I looked at the stock market and said, ‘Oh, my God,’” she said. “Then I held my nose and said, ‘Forget that — the money isn’t mine anymore. It will do more work out there.’” — Paul Sullivan

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