The US Congress sealed a $2 trillion stimulus deal. It capped days of intense negotiations over the largest rescue package in American history. The bill will ensure that many people receive $1,200, boost unemployment insurance, and create huge loan programs for businesses.
The US reached 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. The WHO warned that the country could become the next epicenter of the pandemic, as cases surge across New York. Yet president Trump wants the economy “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
Asian and European shares rose, with eyes now on the US. Markets across Asia were up more than 2%, with Europe seeing similar rises thanks to massive stimulus measures. The US could build on yesterday’s gains, after the Dow had its best day since 1933.
Nike somehow swooshed up. The sportswear giant beat earnings expectations, with its third-quarter revenue topping $10 billion, despite previously warning of a coronavirus hit. Executives said its online business, particularly in China, offset troubles in retail sales.
Japan starts rescheduling the Tokyo Olympics. After yesterday’s unprecedented decision to postpone this summer’s games to next year, organizers will have to start grappling with complex logistical questions around venues, security, ticketing, and accommodation.
India’s lockdown began… The government ordered its 1.3 billion people to stay at home for three weeks. Around 90% of its economy is in the informal sector, where working from home is impossible.
… as Hubei lifted restrictions. With no new domestic cases reported, the former epicenter of the outbreak rolled back its lockdown on more than 50 million residents. Claims of zero local cases have been disputed.
Britain’s parliament will shut down. Though MPs had insisted they’d carry on as usual, the calculus changed after more of them reported Covid-19 symptoms. The closure will begin tonight once emergency coronavirus legislation is pushed through.
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