Stocks steady so far…Durable goods orders plunge…More layoffs announced
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are holding steady in early trading on Wall Street as the market wraps up a tumultuous week, with the major indexes all slightly higher. The bond market was quiet, while crude prices climbed again. The calm opening to trading in U.S. markets belies what’s been a wild week. From Monday’s astonishing plummet for the oil market to yesterday’s sudden disappearance of a morning rally, markets pinballed as the mood swung from fear to hope and back again amid the coronavirus pandemic.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Factory orders plunged 14.4% in March, the second-biggest decline on record. The worse-than-expected slide underscores the severe economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Today’s Commerce Department report shows weakness across the board, with demand for transportation products falling 41%. Demand for motor vehicles and commercial airliners tumbled as travel seizes up.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump will be holding a signing ceremony today for a bill providing a nearly $500 billion infusion of coronavirus spending. It’s aimed at rushing new relief to employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of a pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six U.S. jobs. Congress approved the spending almost unanimously on Thursday. House lawmakers gathered in Washington for the first time since March 27, adopting stricter social distancing rules while aiming to prove they can do their work despite the COVID-19 crisis. Easy passage of the measure belies a potentially bumpier path ahead for future legislation.
PALMETTO, Fla. (AP) – The company that brings live shows ranging from “Disney on Ice” to monster trucks to local arenas has laid off nearly 1,500 workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. Florida-based Feld Entertainment said in a notification to the state that the coronavirus-induced prohibitions against mass gatherings had forced it to suspend its tours indefinitely. The workers laid off include almost 325 ensemble skaters, as well as technicians, wardrobe workers, special effects coordinators and other performers.
WASHINGTON (AP) – One out of every four American adults say someone in their household has lost a job to the coronavirus pandemic, but the vast majority expect those former jobs will return once the crisis passes. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Among those whose households have experienced a layoff, about 8 in 10 believe those former jobs will definitely or probably return. Another positive sign in the survey results: The percentage of workers who say their household has lost a source of income due to the virus outbreak is not significantly different from a few weeks ago.