Markets had another volatile day Monday, following news that Congress had not yet reached a deal on a stimulus package to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus.
“In general, the markets want a plan,” explained Dan Primack, business editor for Axios, speaking Monday via Skype with Jim Braude on Greater Boston. “They’re not sure if the Democrats plan or the Republican plan or a compromise plan, is the best medicine, necessarily, for the economy … what the markets want is something.”
Last week, U.S. markets had their worst week since the financial crisis of 2008.
The major sticking point in the $2 trillion Congressional rescue plan proved to be whom the bill is targeted to, with Democratic senators saying the Republican proposal focused too much on assistance to companies and not enough on workers and health care providers. Republicans countered that there are provisions for many American workers and that the amount of aid is unprecedented.
Primack said that if members of Congress reached an agreement and it were signed into law by President Trump, questions would still remain.
“[Passage of a plan] will mean at least there will be a little bit of a calm down,” he said. “But look, you know, who knows what comes next? Right now, though … you’re on a slide, basically. And nobody can see the bottom, or at least kind of a speed bump on that slide, and that’s what this plan would be.”
And as for the best way to summarize what all this has meant for peoples’ retirement savings, “think back to the day Donald Trump was elected,” Primack said. “That’s basically where the stock market is now. … All of the gains since Trump beat Hillary Clinton have all been wiped out.”