Shares up in Europe and Asia…Mnuchin says stimulus checks coming soon…New WH team discussing reopening US economy
TOKYO (AP) – Shares rose in Europe and Asia today, though investors are bracing for news on how the coronavirus pandemic has hurt corporate earnings and the Chinese economy. France’s CAC 40 edged 0.3% higher in early trading while Germany’s DAX gained 1.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.8%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei added 3.1%, South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.6% higher and the Shanghai Composite added 1.6%. Wall Street is set for gains with Dow futures up 1.1% and S&P futures are up 0.9%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he expects that more than 80 million Americans should have tax rebates directly deposited into their bank accounts by Wednesday. Many Americans qualify for tax credits approved as part of legislation designed to boost the economy as the country responds to the new coronavirus. Under the program, single filers receive $1,200 and joint filers $2,400, though it phases out for higher incomes.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A new team put together to lay out how to begin reopening the American economy could be formally announced today at the White House. The council, which is not expected to include health officials, could bring to the forefront the push-pull tensions within the White House between economists and public health officials over how quickly to reopen the economy vs. proceeding cautiously to ensure the virus doesn’t spike again.
UNDATED (AP) – Analysts tell FactSet that they predict that earnings for all the companies in the S&P 500 will be down 9% in the first quarter from a year earlier. That would be the biggest annual decline in earnings for the index since the third quarter of 2009 when earnings slumped nearly 16%. Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services says, “Our view is its one big write-off year.”
BEIJING (AP) – China’s exports fell in March but at slower pace than the 17% contraction seen in January-February as the coronavirus shutdown much business activity. Forecasters are warning that exporters face another slump as the pandemic depresses global demand. Customs data reported today shows that exports sank 6.6% from a year earlier to $185.1 billion. Imports declined 0.4% to $165.2 billion, recovering from a 4% fall in January and February after Beijing started reopening factories and stores. Exports to the United States fell 20.8% to $25.2 billion while imports of American goods declined 12.6% to $9.9 billion.