BYU-Idaho says it will seek out and possibly expel students who may have intentionally tried to be infected with the coronavirus.

An Idaho college says it is “deeply troubled” by reports that people in its community may have intentionally exposed themselves to the coronavirus in the hopes of being paid more for plasma donations that could contain COVID-19 antibodies.

BYU-Idaho, located in the southeastern town of Rexburg, says it is actively searching to find out if any of its students have done this.

“Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed,” the university said in a statement.

Some private blood banks pay more for plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies.

The university cautioned last month that it may have to shut down the campus and switch to an all-remote learning format if a recent upward trend of COVID-19 cases in Idaho and Madison County continue. 

The university says it realizes that the pandemic ls leading to strains on the community, including financial.

“There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet,” the university said, offering contact information for student resources.

Idaho currently ranks sixth in the country for new cases per capita, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, with more than 48,660 total confirmed cases of coronavirus statewide. So far more than 500 Idaho residents have died because of COVID-19.

RELATED: US colleges struggle to salvage semester amid COVID-19 outbreaks

RELATED: Reports: Several COVID-19 positive students in Ohio throw house party despite quarantine

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Big money investors have over the last six months poured cash into the markets at the fastest pace in 17 years as they fretted over COVID-19 and the upcoming presidential election, according to a new survey from Bank of America.

Cash holdings fell to 4.4% in October, down from 4.8% in September, and have now dropped 1.5 percentage points since April, the fastest decline since 2003. A reading below 4% is considered investor greed.

Respondents “said the recession is over, reduce cash, pause cyclical rotation, and price in contested election & February vaccine,” wrote Michael Hartnett, chief equity strategist at Bank of America. “We say sell SPX > 3600 and cyclical rotation via banks/energy to resume in Q4.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SPX n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

TRUMP’S STOCK GAINS HIT REPUBLICAN RECORD

The Charlotte, N.C.-based lender surveyed 198 participants with $593 billion in assets under management between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8.

Thirty-four percent of respondents feared a second wave of COVID-19 was the biggest “tail risk” as expectations for the timing of a credible vaccine were pushed back from January 2021 to February 2021.

Absent the pandemic, investors were most worried about uncertainty caused by the upcoming presidential election, with 61% predicting the election will be contested.

Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said such an outcome was the one that would cause the most volatility. Another 14% forecast a Democratic sweep would shock markets while 8% feared a divided Congress and 4% were uneasy about a President Trump win.

On the economy, 60% of respondents said we are in an early-cycle phase as opposed to 26% who thought we were still in recession.

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PAMPLICO, S.C. (AP) — The land agent who arrived at Reatha Jefferson’s door in May, unannounced and unmasked in the middle of the pandemic, told her he was giving her one more chance.

The agent was there on behalf of Virginia-based utility giant Dominion Energy. He wanted to see if Jefferson would let Dominion run a new natural gas pipeline through the land her great-grandfather, a rural Black farmer, had bought more than a century ago in Pamplico, South Carolina.

Jefferson sent the agent away and in July, the utility served her with court papers in an attempt to use eminent domain to build the pipeline.

The proposed 14.5-mile-long (23-kilometer-long) gas line is small in contrast to projects like the recently canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline, or even a 55-mile-long (88.5-kilometer-long) pipeline Dominion built recently in the state. But for Jefferson, it threatens to stain the land where her relatives once grew tobacco, corn and wheat, and the river where her father used to catch catfish for dinner.

“This property’s been in my family for 100 years. How do they think they can tell me what they’re going to run through my property?” she said.

The company cites new energy demand spurred by economic growth in eastern South Carolina as the impetus for the project. Dominion declined to make anyone available for an interview but said in a statement that the project could help attract and grow businesses, adding jobs and possibly lowering energy costs for residents.

The gas main, designed to supply customers directly with natural gas, would run 14.5 miles from a valve station to a regulating station along the Great Pee Dee River, according to permitting paperwork Dominion submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers. It would traverse 65 pieces of private property along the way.

Some environmental

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U.S. jobless claims, consumer spending hint at stalling recovery

Airlines head higher on coronavirus aid hopes

Exxon warns of bigger-than-expected Q3 loss

Market leaders boost all three indexes

Indexes: Dow off 0.30%, S&P up 0.07%, Nasdaq 0.91%

New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to late afternoon; new byline, adds NEW YORK dateline

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters)Wall Street see-sawed on Thursday as investors juggled optimism over progress on stimulus talks Washington with signs of waning momentum of economic recovery from the pandemic recession, now entering its ninth month.

The S&P 500 was modestly higher and the Nasdaq more solidly in the black. The blue-chip Dow was lower, with all three indexes losing steam in mid-afternoon trading.

A spate of data, including jobless claims and consumer spending, suggested that the plodding economic recovery could be losing steam.

But in the latest development in negotiations for a new pandemic relief deal, the White House countered House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion package with a $1.5 trillion-plus proposal, to include a $20 billion aid extension for airlines.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cautioned that Democrats and the White House remained locked in a debate over dollars an values, but expressed optimism that a deal could be reached.

“The market is viewing the stimulus as a lubricant for the economy, to take the market to the next level and to keep the consumer strong,” said Matthew Keator, managing partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts.

“One of the encouraging things is the Speaker and the Treasury Secretary (Steven Mnuchin) have kept an open mind, which leads to the adage ‘hope springs eternal.'” Keator added.

The

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second day on Wednesday, extending big losses from the previous session amid rising concerns about fuel demand as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

Brent crude <LCOc1> dropped 23 cents, or 0.6%, to $41.03 per barrel by 0048 GMT. West Texas Intermediate <CLc1> fell 26 cents, or 0.7%, to $39.29.

The benchmarks fell more than 3% on Tuesday as global COVID-19 cases passed 1 million, having doubled in three months.

“It is important to keep in mind that moves to the downside have the potential to be supersized,” given rising coronavirus cases and increasing oil supplies around the world, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.

CEOs of the world’s biggest trading companies are forecasting a weak recovery for oil demand and little movement in prices in the coming months and potentially years.

Weighing heavily on markets is the continued depressed demand for jet fuel, with air travel in the doldrums due to coronavirus restrictions and a general disinclination to travel.

Refineries have been trying to find ways to blend their product but an oversupply remains and some plants will be forced to shut down.

Marathon Petroleum Corp <MPC.N>, the largest oil refiner in the United States, started imposing job cuts on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter.

To counter the fall in demand the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is unlikely to increase oil production as planned from January next year, traders said on Tuesday.

The market looked past data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday showing U.S. crude oil stocks fell against expectations, focussing instead on the rise in gasoline inventories.

Also keeping traders and investors on tenterhooks is the November presidential election, which may remain undetermined on election night, with both candidates