Companies Fret Over Coronavirus Despite Rebound

Results from auto makers to cereal producers are better than expected, but firms remain hesitant about the future. ‘The world is in a fragile state.’

Workers assembled Volkswagen ID.4 electric sport-utility vehicles in Germany in September. Volkswagen posted a profit in the third quarter.

Photo: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Business for many companies rebounded faster than expected following the coronavirus-related economic shock this spring, but many corporate leaders are warning that the bounceback wasn’t uniform and may prove fleeting as infections surge again.

Stronger demand buoyed companies ranging from auto makers to cereal producers during the quarter that ended in September as businesses and consumers adapted to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus. Yet executives described the path forward as tenuous, with caseloads hitting records...

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