tunart/iStock(NEW YORK) — 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.
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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.
Financial markets open relatively unchanged Wednesday morning after rallying Tuesday
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up just over 200 points, or a little more than 1%, when U.S. markets opened. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down by a fraction of a percentage point.
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.
Tuesday’s surge comes amid a volatile few weeks for equity markets. Since the outbreak, all three major U.S. indices have plunged into bear market territory, shedding billions of dollars of value.
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.
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