As of 9:00 a.m. ET, Dow futures were up 3.4%, or 719 points, while S&P futures climbed nearly 3.5%, or 86 points. Nasdaq futures also advanced more than 3.5%, or 267 points. The bullish sentiment on Wall Street came a day after the Trump administration expressed optimism that the outbreak, which has led to at least 337,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9,653 deaths in the United States, might be showing signs of stabilization.
“I think we all know we have to reach a certain point, and that point is going to be a horrific point in terms of death, but it’s also a point at which things are going to start changing,” President Donald Trump said last night. “We’re getting very close to that level right now, and the next week and a half, two weeks, I think they’re going to be very difficult.”
Vice President Mike Pence added, “We are beginning to see the glimmers of progress.”
Health authorities have warned that the next couple weeks will be crucial in the fight against the coronavirus as they continue to urge Americans to practice social distancing. In an interview with Fox News Sunday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams suggested that this could be one of “the hardest and the saddest” weeks for the country, comparing it to historic tragedies.
“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized,” he said.
The pandemic has already slammed many American businesses, workers and consumers: Over the past month, department stores, fashion and footwear brands, and specialty retailers have temporarily shuttered doors across the country amid the outbreak. A growing list of industry players that paid their workers during an initial two-week closure have since announced furloughs, layoffs and/or pay cuts for members of their executive and senior leadership teams.
To bolster the hard-hit U.S. economy, Trump signed in late March a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to aid corporations, individuals, and state and local governments. The deal includes $250 billion in checks to individuals and families, $250 billion in jobless insurance benefits, $350 billion in small business loans and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
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