The health crisis has increasingly become an economic one.
March 25, 2020, 8:49 PM
6 min read
The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health crisis to a financial one, shuttering businesses, upending entire industries and sending financial markets reeling.
Early Wednesday, lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package to help buoy the economy amid the outbreak.
Here’s the latest news on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the economy. For more on financial resources available during the pandemic, click here.
Financial markets rally as stimulus deal reached
U.S. financial markets rose again on Wednesday as lawmakers reached a deal on a stimulus package to help buoy the economy amid the pandemic, building on Tuesday’s steep rise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 490 points, over 2.3%. The S&P 500 closed up by more than 1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down slightly, by a fraction of a percentage point.
The best performer for the Dow Wednesday was Boeing, whose stock skyrocketed more than 24%, possibly on news of a bailout package included in the stimulus plan.
United Technologies Corp. and Nike shares also contributed to the Dow’s rise, shooting up more than 10% and 9%, respectively.
“The $2 trillion dollar fiscal stimulus package, which amounts to about 10% of nominal GDP, will provide much needed support to U.S. households and businesses that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus shock,” Moody’s Vice President William Foster said in a statement. “Income support to households, through direct payments and the enhancement of unemployment insurance, and liquidity support to businesses through emergency loans, will help mitigate the depth and duration of the economic shock.”
“Nonetheless, we expect the virus to have a significant negative impact on growth and the fiscal deficit this year,” Foster added. “We will keep monitoring the situation and assess changing conditions on a continuing basis.”
On Tuesday, as hopes of a stimulus package deal loomed large over Wall Street, the Dow saw its biggest single-day percentage gain since 1933.
The back-to-back gains for the Dow comes amid a roller coaster few weeks for equity markets.
Since the outbreak, however, all three major U.S. indices have plunged into bear market territory, shedding billions of dollars of value.
TSA screened the lowest number of travelers last week in more than a decade
As the pandemic delivers a major blow to the air travel industry, a U.S. Transportation Security Administration spokesperson told ABC News that each of the last seven days has set a new record low in the number of travelers screened at checkpoints nationwide since Jan. 1, 2010.
A total of 279,018 travelers were screened Tuesday versus the 2,151,913 travelers TSA agents screened the same day a year ago.
Amid government-imposed travel restrictions and a steep decline in demand, the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to cost the global airline industry more than $250 billion, according to a forecast Tuesday from the International Air Transport Association.
Lawmakers reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus package
After hours of closed-door bipartisan talks on Capitol Hill, White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland announced around 1 a.m. Wednesday that a deal had been reached on the $2 trillion economic stimulus package to help shore up the economy amid the coronavirus crisis. Negotiations took some five days to complete.
“We have a deal,” Ueland said. “Much of the work on the bill text has been completed and I’m hopeful over the next few hours [it will be finished] … We will circulate it early in the morning.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., described the legislation as “a wartime level of investment in our nation.”
“At last, we have a deal,” McConnell told reporters in the early hours of Wednesday. “We’re going to pass this legislation later today.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the deal “an outstanding agreement.”
“Help is on the way,” Schumer said. “Big help and quick help.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that President Donald Trump will “absolutely” sign the legislation.
ABC News’ Mina Kaji contributed to this report.