Stock markets surged on Tuesday morning as the Senate closed in on a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package to prop up the economy during the coronavirus epidemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 1,300 points, or 7.3 percent, while the S&P 500 increased 150, or 6.7 percent, in the opening minutes of trading.
Late Monday night, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin emerged from a day of marathon negotiations sounding upbeat.
“The president would like to have a deal and he’s hopeful we can conclude this tomorrow,” Mnuchin told reporters. During the meeting, Mnuchin phoned President Trump and said they were “very, very close to an agreement,” Schumer told reporters.
In just a month, markets have tanked, shedding a third of their value as the economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic have come into view.
Financial institutions are forecasting that the extreme social distancing measures and business closures have tipped the economy into recession, and they are expecting a deep spike in unemployment and a sharp contraction in economic activity.
Still, they remain hopeful that the pain will be temporary and that life and the economy will largely return to normal in the second half of the year.