US businesses brace for election unrest

US businesses brace for election unrest
Workers board up windows at a Washington restaurant ahead of election day. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Owners of businesses in cities across the United States are boarding up windows as they brace for unrest following the November 3 election.

The situation comes just a few months after many businesses in may US cities were hit by looters in the violent demonstrations that erupted after the death of George Floyd in the hands of police in Minnesota.

Nordstrom and pharmacy chain CVS were among the biggest firms taking precautions.

There are big concerns that the election will be contested have also weighed on financial markets.

However, the main US indexes closed higher on Monday, reversing course after steep falls last week.

National polls suggest a healthy lead for Democratic candidate Joe Biden over current Republican President Donald Trump in Tuesday’s election.

But Mr Biden’s lead is thinner in the handful of states that could decide the result. Legal disputes over what election will be counted are already under way in many states.

Brian Gardner, chief Washington policy strategist at investment bank Stifel, In 2000, when a recount fight in Florida raised uncertainty about the outcome of the US election, financial markets sank by about 5%.

Mr Gardner is predicting victory for Joe Biden but warned that questions about the result and any outbreak of violence could cause a steeper fall this time around.

Last week, Walmart said it was temporarily removing guns and ammunition from display in thousands of its stores in the US, citing concerns of “civil unrest”. However, a day later, it reversed the decision.

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