(Bloomberg) — Investors made the 2020 presidential elections the most-expensive event to hedge in history. In less than a week, they’ve discovered there’s a lot more than just the vote to worry about.

From President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis to his tweet announcing an end to stimulus talks and the House threatening to breakup tech giants, surprises keep landing on Wall Street — and it’s putting traders on edge.

The Cboe Volatility Index, a measure of expected stock swings known as the VIX, has risen for six straight sessions and was flirting with a seventh on Wednesday. A similar gauge for U.S. Treasuries just surged after weeks of calm. The S&P 500 has posted a dozen moves of more than 1% in the past month, yet the benchmark has gone nowhere.



chart, line chart: Stock volatility rises amid uncertainty


© Bloomberg
Stock volatility rises amid uncertainty

America’s main equity index jumped again as trading began in New York,

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Rollercoaster moves in the natural gas market over the past few weeks are underscoring traders’ uncertainty about whether a frigid winter, muted output, and rebounding demand will send prices rocketing higher in the coming months.

Gas futures settled more than 7 percent higher on Monday, mimicking gains in oil and equities. But just two weeks ago, prices posted their biggest one-day loss in almost two years. Historical volatility has surged to levels not seen since late 2018, and implied volatility, a measure of how dramatic price swings may be going forward, is the highest in data going back to 2010.

Bullish bets on US gas have soared as traders wager on lackluster production and surging demand heading into winter. Liquefied natural gas exports are rising as consumption recovers from pandemic-driven lockdowns, and as terminals restart after storm-related outages and maintenance. Meanwhile, shale output remains subdued as drillers heed investor calls

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At a time when automobile sales in the rural markets are picking up faster than in their urban counterpart, Skoda Auto India plans to tap the trend by setting up more sales and service touchpoints in rural areas as a part of its India 2.0 strategy.

Skoda Auto’s India 2.0 project with the Volkswagen Group was announced two years ago, with a planned investment of ₹8,000 crore to strengthen the group’s operations in the country.

Going forward, Skoda Auto India’s network expansion plan will be primarily focussed on non-urban and rural areas, Zac Hollis, Brand Director, Skoda Auto India, told BusinessLine. The pandemic will not be coming in the way of its investment and expansion plans in the country, such as the India 2.0 project, he said.

The Czech automaker currently has around 85 outlets in India, with plans to increase this to 100 by the end

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Macy’s (M) released its second-quarter 2020 earnings report on Wednesday, which showed an increase in e-commerce sales by 53% over Q2 2019.

The boost in its online business propelled Macy’s forward as stores were temporarily closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a loss as comparable sales were down 34.7% for the quarter compared to the same timeframe last year.

Macy’s said it saw “better than expected growth of its digital business” as sales remained strong, making up 54% of total-owned comparable sales.

“Macy’s, Inc. performance for the quarter was stronger than anticipated across all three brands: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury, driven largely by the sales recovery of our stores,” Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement. “Restarting our stores’ business was our top priority, and we successfully accomplished that while also ensuring that our digital business remained strong.

“Going into this crisis, we

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  • Stock-market moves that stray far from the norm are at a 20-year high, according to quantitative strategists at Societe Generale. 
  • The Federal Reserve’s growing interventions in markets, and lower liquidity, are among the reasons why so-called fat tails have grown larger. 
  • The quants expect that “wild swings” will remain a feature instead of a bug, and highlight the need for investors to cheaply hedge such events moving forward.  
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Whenever the literary powers that be gather to decide the 2020 word of the year, “unprecedented” should be a strong contender. 

At every turn, records that had previously been deemed insurmountable were shattered within a couple of weeks or days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors were certainly not spared, as the assets they owned underwent stresses that had rarely been seen before.

It was

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