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Coronavirus Relief Bill Signed

Zacks Equity Research
·2 min read

Three and a half weeks before he is scheduled to be replaced in his current occupation, President Trump has signed the $900 Covid relief bill Congress has been tussling over for weeks, if not months. Included, rather famously, in this stimulus package, are $600 checks to be mailed out to American citizens affected by the ongoing pandemic, among other things.

There will also be a replenishing of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in loans for small businesses hit hard by the spread of coronavirus now in its tenth month in the U.S. Allocations will also be made for vaccines and testing, as well as extended tax breaks. That Trump finally signed the bill is a big relief; there had been some observers of the goings-on in Washington DC that he might have left the citizenry in the cold.

The sticking point, according to the president’s tweets, had been the rather low $600 stimulus checks allotted by Congress. That is half of what was sent out for the CARES Act, passed last spring in reaction to the first wave of the pandemic hitting family units and small businesses hardest. President Trump had expressed a desire to bump up the payouts to $2000 this time around, which caused much confusion and pushback in Congress, especially from members of the president’s own party.

That the monies will at last get to where they are most needed will avert disaster in the near term. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) had officially expired the day after Christmas, and rent relief stipulations had been set to expire upon the new year. Sending millions of Americans out of work with no government assistance and landlords once again forced into putting families out on the street would have been a nightmarish way to begin 2021. It would seem this worst-case scenario has been averted.

It’s another holiday-shortened week this week on the trading floor, with New Year’s Day falling on a Friday. Economic data will be in short supply; traditionally, so would market volume. One thing to look for would be investors booking profits for tax purposes ahead of the flip of the calendar, but some of this had already begun in the past few weeks. As of this morning, the stimulus bill signage has brought futures into the green ahead of the open. We look forward to this continuing throughout the day, and perhaps the week. Fingers crossed!

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