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Markets see positive signs in stimulus talks

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Wall Street sees signs a stimulus deal could be close, after Speaker Pelosi signaled talks were advancing and President Trump tweeted that both sides need to ‘get it done.’ Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Ines Ferre speak with Senior Columnist Rick Newman for the latest.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: OK, Wall Street seems to be banking on that elusive new round of stimulus being closer to reality as President Trump recovers from the coronavirus. The president tweeted from the hospital that the Democrats and his treasury secretary needed to quote, "get it done," and negotiations were ongoing throughout the weekend. Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Rick Newman is here with us.

Now, Rick, so when I first heard news about the president's diagnosis, among many first thoughts, maybe this would get a stimulus deal done. You heard Nancy Pelosi, a lot other Democrats come out and show their, not support for the president, but wish him well. But now once you see the president in a motorcade, clearly still infected with COVID-19 on the weekend, you think, well, there's not going to be any stimulus. How do you handicap it?

RICK NEWMAN: Less likely than a couple of weeks ago, but I think that, you know, I think before Trump got diagnosed, I would have said almost no chance this was going to happen. Let's say 10%. Then Nancy Pelosi herself said, this changes the dynamics. So maybe it rose from 10% to 25% likely that we will get this done. But Pelosi herself has pointed out there still are big gaps between what the Democrats in the House want and what the White House wants. They've actually gotten a little bit closer, but then there's the Senate, and Republicans in the Senate still have indicated no real interest in getting this done.

So as has been the case all along, at least for the last couple of months, we actually have three sides to this negotiation. There's the White House, the House Democrats, and the Senate Republicans, and none of them agree. So I think even though Trump made one tweet on Saturday, "get it done," I still don't think we're likely to see this before Election Day.

BRIAN SOZZI: Rick, the lack of a stimulus plan, who does it hurt the most?

RICK NEWMAN: Politically or economically? I mean, economically, it hurts the businesses that are barely scraping by and might not make it through the end of the year. It hurts the airlines. It hurts the unemployed who are running out of money and could really use a plus up to unemployment benefits. Politically, I think this probably hurts Trump a little bit more than it hurts the Democrats. I mean, remember, Joe Biden is not in office.

He doesn't have any power to get this done, and I think Nancy Pelosi, very shrewd as always, I think if she felt this were politically damaging to Democrats, it would happen. So I think Pelosi is making a calculation this probably hurts Trump a little bit more. He's the president, after all. He's the guy in charge of the economy, if anybody is, and probably if there's no more stimulus before Election Day, yet another negative against Trump.

INES FERRE: Rick, Ines here. Do we know what the sticking points are? Do we know which side is most amenable to it or not?

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, the sticking points are the dollar amount for things like unemployment insurance. I mean, I think this has been a gap all along. Democrats want 600 a week, and Republicans are only willing to go to about 300. The amount of aid for states and cities, that's a big sticking point. There are a couple of others, but you know, Ines, to my mind, the real sticking point I think is that Nancy Pelosi, I don't think she wants a deal before Election Day. I think she wants to make it look like she does want a deal, she's pressing for a deal, but I think what she really want, her real calculation is wait till after Election Day. It looks like Biden is going to win, and I think she'd love to be calling the shots if Biden is President and if the Senate flips to Democrats, in which case, we're going to get a giant stimulus plan early next year if the Democrats are able to pull that off.

BRIAN SOZZI: We have to get something. Maybe there will be a giant stimulus plan. Rick Newman, thanks so much,