NEW YORK (AP) — The final three months of the year, usually a boom time for many small businesses thanks to holiday shopping and celebrations, looks precarious as the coronavirus maintains its grip on the economy.

Owners contending with government restrictions or crumbling demand are trying to hold on, with some creating new products and services or desperately searching for new customers. Others, however, have found they’re already well equipped to meet the lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic.

The big corporate and non-profit parties and events that Sophia D’Angelo ran before the virus outbreak have just about vanished. Large in-person gatherings that companies typically use to launch or promote their brands aren’t possible because of social distancing requirements.

“The fourth quarter was always the bulk of my business,” says D’Angelo, who owns Boston Experiential Group, based in Boston.

D’Angelo has had to get creative. She’s using her expertise to arrange small gatherings like holiday-themed dinners and parties at people’s homes, usually for no more than 10 guests.

The fourth quarter is a key time for many industries and companies of all sizes. Some retailers typically expect to make as much as half their annual revenue during the holiday shopping season, as do many of their suppliers. Any business connected with holiday parties and celebrations also has high hopes for the October-December period.

But conditions are dicey this year. The coronavirus has devastated many small businesses; it’s estimated that hundreds of thousands already have closed forever. Many of the survivors are expected to struggle further during this quarter, especially as cases of the virus surge in some areas of the country. More businesses — restaurants and retailers in particular — will likely go out of business if they cannot bring in the revenue they need.

Restaurants face a difficult

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices slipped more than 1% on Friday after an oil worker strike in Norway ended, which should boost crude output even as Hurricane Delta forced U.S. energy firms to cut production.

Brent futures

fell 49 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $42.85 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude

fell 59 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $40.60.

Despite Friday’s price slide, both benchmarks gained about 9% this week, their first increase in three weeks and the biggest weekly rise for Brent since June.

Oil futures climbed earlier in the week due to concerns the strike in Norway and the hurricane headed for the U.S. Gulf Coast would cut crude output.

Norwegian oil firms struck a wage bargain with labour union officials on Friday, ending a 10-day strike that had threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by close to 25% next week.

“One of the bullish factors that had been supporting prices fell apart late in the day when it was announced that Norway would end their strike,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also weighing on prices were doubts voiced by Republicans in the U.S. Senate that a coronavirus economic stimulus deal could be reached before the Nov. 3 election.

Earlier in the day, oil prices briefly turned positive after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would resume talks on a possible $1.8 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Hurricane Delta, meanwhile, dealt the greatest blow to U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico energy production in 15 years, halting most of the region’s oil and nearly two-thirds of natural gas output.

Looking ahead, JP Morgan said that a worsening global oil demand outlook due to a potential rise in coronavirus cases

(RTTNews) – The Canadian market closed on a buoyant note on Wednesday as stocks from across several sectors moved higher on sustained buying support amid renewed optimism about a U.S. stimulus deal.

After asking his administration’s negotiators to halt discussions with Democrats over a coronavirus relief plan earlier on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted later that night that he would support individual stimulus measures.

“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” Trump tweeted.

He later added, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now.”

Stocks in Canadian and U.S. markets rallied on Trump’s backtrack.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended stronger by 192.17 points or 1.18% at 16,428.30. The index touched a high of 16,443.91.

Healthcare stocks were the top gainers. The Capped Healthcare Index surged up 3.85%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) spurted nearly 8%. Cronos Group (CRON.TO) gained a little over 5% and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) moved up 4.7%, while Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 4% and 2.7%, respectively.

The Consumer Discretionary Index climbed 2.59%. Sleep Country Canada Holdings (ZZZ.TO), up 7.5%, was the top gainer in the section. Aritzia (ATZ.TO) and Magna International (MG.TO) gained 6.3% and 5.5%, respectively. Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Martinrea International (MRE.TO), Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GC) and Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) also rose sharply.

The Capped Energy Index gained 2.06%, riding on Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Canadian Natural Resources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 2% on Tuesday, supported by expected supply disruptions from a hurricane approaching the Gulf of Mexico and an oil worker strike in Norway.

FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks work at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Lutz

The market slipped in post-settlement trading, however, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was instructing his administration not to negotiate a stimulus package until after the Nov. 3 election.

Brent crude futures settled at $42.65 a barrel, up $1.36 a barrel, or 3.29%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled at $40.67 a barrel, rising $1.45, or 3.7%. In post-close trading, however, Brent fell to $42.19 while U.S. crude dropped to $40.13 a barrel.

Oil prices eased further after the close following American Petroleum Institute data that showed U.S. crude stocks climbed 951,000 barrels last week compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a build of 294,000 barrels.

Trump returned to the White House following three days in the hospital for treatment for COVID-19. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been in negotiations for an additional $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in economic stimulus before Trump’s tweet.

“It looked like something was going to materialize, and now it has been blown up so everything is selling off,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

“The petroleum complex needed that stimulus to help stoke demand once again, and we’re obviously not getting it.”

Energy companies shut offshore oil platforms as Hurricane Delta strengthened to a Category 2 and was on track to reach the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. It would be the 10th named storm to hit the United States this year, which would break a record dating

By Caroline Valetkevitch

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended down more than 1% on Tuesday after President Donald Trump said he was calling off negotiations with Democratic lawmakers on coronavirus relief legislation until after the election.

Stocks were higher before the remarks, but reversed course after Trump made the comments on Twitter.

The S&P 500 fell to a session low shortly after the tweet, taking the index down more than 2% from its session high. Airline shares also tumbled, with United Airlines <UAL.N> ending down 3.6% on the day, and the Cboe Volatility index <.VIX> climbed to a session high.

“Much of the rally we’ve seen in the last week in particular was based on hopes for an additional stimulus package,” said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas. “There’s now a whole lot less reason to put money to work before the election.”

Cases of the virus are still on the rise across much of the country, and hopes that a stimulus deal was still possible had helped stocks to recoup recent losses sparked by the news that Trump had contracted COVID-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 375.88 points, or 1.34%, to 27,772.76, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 47.66 points, or 1.40%, to 3,360.97 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 177.88 points, or 1.57%, to 11,154.60.

“Clearly the markets were pricing in some possibility of stimulus,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But, he said, it was probably unlikely lawmakers would have reached a compromise with their current proposals.

Earlier in the session, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that the U.S. economic recovery remained far from complete.

Powell said the domestic rebound could still slip into a downward spiral if the coronavirus is not effectively