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Jim Cramer sees positives for investors after sell-off on Covid fears

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer said he sees positives for investors after steep market declines Wednesday as Wall Street grew further concerned about the coronavirus pandemic.

“I recognize the carnage, but I do think the carnage is reversible,” Cramer said Wednesday on “Closing Bell,” after the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 943 points, or 3.4%, in its worst day since June. The benchmark S&P 500 declined 3.5%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 3.7%.

“It’s just that you do need to get past the election, and you have to start accepting the fact that because people don’t wear masks, they don’t practice social distancing, we don’t do contact tracing … that we’re going to have a lot of case loads,” Cramer said.

The “Mad Money” host said by recognizing the shortcomings of the U.S. response to the pandemic, investors will be able to spot individual opportunities in the market where there is upside. He pointed to the strong earnings report from Ford Motor, which illustrates the strength in the auto market, and General Electric.

“You get a one-off like Ford and a one-off like GE, and you get a couple more one-offs. Next thing you know you’re saying, ‘Why am I just selling everything?'” he said.

Cramer said the coronavirus case count in the United States is sure to rise in the coming days. That echoes comments made earlier Wednesday by former Food and Drug Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who said that “things are going to get worse.”

“[Investors] know, and we have to build in the Covid case load,” Cramer said. “We have to build in the restaurant shutdowns. We have to build in who the heck knows with the election? At a certain point, it gets built in.”

“And then we say, ‘Well listen, I’m not inured to Covid. I don’t want anyone to have it. I don’t want to catch it,'” he added. “But at a certain point, how many times are you going to discount Covid?”

Wednesday’s sell-off was broad, with all 11 S&P 500 sectors finishing in the red, led by technology’s 4.33% decline. However, Cramer said that type of market movement lays the foundation for opportunities. “I’m not saying it’s artificial. But I am saying good news will create an upswing.”


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Dr. Fauci says U.S. is in a ‘bad position’ as daily cases hit record highs

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Kevin Dietsch | AFP via Getty Images

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that the United States is in a “bad position” as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge in many parts of the nation.

Fauci said the U.S. never got its Covid-19 cases down to low enough levels after the initial surge in New York and other states earlier in the year. New cases had hit a peak in April of about 31,000 a day before steadily falling to about 20,000 cases a day by the end of May. After Memorial Day, new cases began to climb again, surging to about 70,000 cases a day in July before plateauing at around about 40,000 in September. They surged again and are now reaching record levels, Fauci said.

“That’s a bad position to be in,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during an interview with JAMA. “When you look at the country and the heat map color, when you see red dots, which indicate that that part of the county, the city, the city is having an uptick in cases … all of that puts us in a precarious situation.”

“We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not,” he said.

Fauci’s comments came after the U.S. reported its third consecutive record in average daily Covid-19 cases. Average new U.S. cases on Tuesday hit an all-time high of 71,832, topping the prior record set on Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Figures are based on a weekly average to smooth out fluctuations in daily reporting.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise as well. As of Tuesday, Covid-19 hospitalizations were growing by 5% or more in 37 states, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by the Covid Tracking Project. Fifteen states hit record highs in hospitalizations. The increase in hospitalizations could be especially dire as flu season approaches and more people seek treatment, medical experts warn.

Some parts of the country are relying on more restrictions to curb the virus’ spread. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Tuesday that Chicago restaurants and bars will have to close their indoor dining sections beginning this Friday. El Paso, Texas, instituted an earlier curfew to protect  “overwhelmed and exhausted” hospitals and workers.

— CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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Germany, France announces new Covid restrictions as outbreaks surge across Europe

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Doctor Henri Faure and medical workers treat a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Robert Ballanger hospital in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in France, October 26, 2020.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

Germany and France imposed tough new restrictions on businesses Wednesday meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the countries respond to worsening outbreaks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the country will implement a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and some other such facilities beginning Nov. 2 to try to wrestle the virus under control.

Merkel told reporters that the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care across the country has doubled over the past 10 days. She added that Germany’s hospitals will hit capacity in the coming weeks if that pace continues.

“These are tough measures,” she said. “We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency.”

Shops, schools and day cares will remain open, she said, but will face new restrictions on capacity. Restaurants will remain open for takeout, Merkel said. She implored citizens to avoid unnecessary travel.

“We can say that our health system can cope with the challenge today,” Merkel said. “But if the pace of infections continues like this, then we’ll reach the limits of what the health system can manage within weeks.”

Germany reported a record spike of 14,964 new cases on Wednesday, according to its disease control agency. The country has reported an average of more than 11,100 new cases of the virus per day over the past week, up more than 61% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Amid growing fears that the surge in cases and the government’s response to it could devastate an already reeling economy, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said November will be a critical month.

“November will be a month of truth,” Scholz said. “The increasing numbers of infections are forcing us to take tough countermeasures in order to break the second wave with targeted and temporary measures, including effective financial aid for the affected companies.”

France President Emanuel Macron announced later on Wednesday that he would impose a second national lockdown that will require people to remain in their homes except when venturing out to buy essential goods, seek medical attention or exercise.

The lockdown means residents will no longer be allowed to travel between regions of the country and businesses like restaurants and bars will close. However, the nation’s schools will remain open and retirement homes can still accept visitors.

The restrictions will begin on Friday and last until Dec. 1, he said. The country has reported an average of more than 38,700 new cases of the virus per day over the past week, up over 54% compared with a week ago, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The virus is surging across much of the Northern Hemisphere as colder weather settles in, forcing people indoors and allowing it to spread more easily. European officials have attributed the surge to “pandemic fatigue,” as well, meaning that people are tired of strictly adhering to public health measures.

Italy reported a record spike of 24,991 new cases on Wednesday, its Health Ministry said. The country has reported an average of more than 18,600 new cases of the virus per day over the past week, up over 88% compared with a week ago, Johns Hopkins data shows.

“We are deeply in the second wave now,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said at a news briefing Wednesday.

— Reuters, The Associated Press and CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.


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