Shares of industrial and transportation companies rose after the Trump administration launched a massive fiscal effort to offset the sudden halt to production and consumption activity.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is pitching Senate Republicans on what could be a $1 trillion economic stimulus package, The Wall Street Journal reported, as the Trump administration works to craft more legislation to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic. That would include as much as $250 billion in direct payments to Americans, one of the largest handouts of its kind.
Both the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve were "demonstrating today ... that they will do anything and everything they can to support the market and the economy [and] stave off a significant recession," said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at broker-dealer Bruderman Brothers.
In a sign of how dramatically industrial production is set to slow, the United Auto Workers union is pressing the Detroit car companies for a two-week shutdown of U.S. factories over coronavirus concerns, a move that would deal another financial blow to auto makers already grappling with virus-related disruption globally. The U.S. moves followed similar measures in Europe, where governments have pledged hundreds of billions of euros to help economies, companies and workers hit by the coronavirus, applying tools developed during the euro crisis and casting aside strict prohibitions on state subsidies.
Congress has already passed an initial $8.3 billion response and is near completing a second package of legislation focused on workers following some late changes made Monday to scale back a paid-leave expansion.
The U.S. is also giving both consumers and businesses flexibility on taxes, postponing the April 15 deadline for 90 days. Mnuchin said if individuals owe a tax payment, they can defer up to $1 million, and corporations may defer $10 million.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 17, 2020 17:01 ET (21:01 GMT)Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.