On Friday, the House passed what may be considered the next stimulus package. While earlier comments from the Senate reveal that it is unlikely to pass the Senate in its current condition, both sides agree that another package is needed soon. This stimulus package is designed to help almost everybody including individuals, essential workers, state and local governments, and much more.
Powell Speaks of Depression Era Level Unemployment
Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve Chair, warned on Sunday that unemployment in America could reach as high as 25%. He also mentioned that one out of five people in the country lost their jobs in March. He expressed hope that there would be a recovery from such high unemployment rates in the second half of the year but admitted that it could take until the end of next year.
Powell believes that the economy will return to normal much faster than it did after the Great Depression. He also indicated that Congress needs to spend more to help families keep their bills paid. One noteworthy thing that Powell added to his message is that he indicated that there were many more things that the Fed could do to help the struggling economy.
Hope for a Coronavirus Vaccine
The stock market took a jump when the news was released that a vaccine test by Moderna had very positive results. Although more than 100 different vaccines are being tested, Moderna is ahead of the game. Eight people were involved in the test and each one developed antibodies to COVID-19. They had developed more antibodies than people who had recovered from the virus. The vaccine also proved to be safe in the eight people.
The next step involves tests with more people and to discover how large a dose is needed to develop a sufficient number of antibodies to offer the needed protection. The U.S. government has invested $483 million to aid in the development of the vaccine. The vaccine also needs to be tested to know how long it will provide protection from coronavirus.
Autoworkers Going Back to Work
The big three automakers have gone back to work today. They have been restocking their supplies for some time getting ready to open. Each worker is checked for temperature before work and they are wearing a mask or a face shield. They also respond to a questionnaire asking if they had been recently exposed to the virus. The assembly lines have been changed to ensure greater safety to help prevent a new outbreak. The stock of each automaker rose with the news, and other industries will be watching to see if a new outbreak occurs among the workers.
Oil prices continue to rise. China is buying up all the oil it can get at very low prices. This indicates that there is a greater demand in the country as restrictions are loosened and people are going back to work. Commuters in China seem to prefer using their private vehicles rather than public transportation to get around – still afraid of getting coronavirus.
Gold saw a small price drop today after rising to a high of $1,765.30. It settled down to $1,731.60 per ounce at the end of the day. Gold prices continue to rise and are now at a higher value than it has been since 2013.