1) President Trump has proposed easing restrictions after the 15 day shutdown ends next week, to restart the devastated U.S. economy. But many states protest this as too soon, that the spread of the coronavirus will just resume with the efforts thus far wasted. The apex of the outbreak could still be 14 to 21 days away. So far, more than 42,000 Americans have contracted COVID-19 with about 620 having died. The World Health Organization warned that the United States could possible become the next epicenter of the pandemic. The virus has shuttered thousands of businesses, throwing millions out of work with state governors ordering about 100 million people (one third of the nation’s population) to stay at home. Economic activity has ground to a halt in major cities.
2) First economic data coming in shows the U.S. is now in a recession, with the biggest economic slump on record for March. Various metrics and indexes of economic activity show the same thing, as the economies (both U.S. and global) grind to a halt. Some consider that once the ‘shelter in place’ and ‘none essential business close’ orders are lifted, that world business will just spring back into action as if nothing had happened. But many economist consider the recession will just deepen with jobs already being slashed at a pace not witnessed since the 2009 global financial crisis. Small businesses don’t have the cash to weather even a short shutdown, and many will fail, which in turn will drag other larger businesses down too.
3) Due to the coronavirus, the revenues for the US Postal Service has drastically dropped off leaving the service short of cash needed for operations. There are warnings in Congress that the USPS may have to cease operations in June, forcing layoffs of thousands of postal employees. The service will require massive infusion of government funds to ensure continual operations necessary for American society. Additionally, postal workers are also falling victim to the infection with 13 already reported sick.
4) Stock market closings for – 24 MAR 20: The Dow had its single largest point gain in a single day.
Dow 20,704.91 up 2112.98
Nasdaq 7,417.86 up 557.18
S&P 500 2,447.33 up 209.93
10 Year Yield: up at 0.82%
Oil: up at $24.33