The Wider World

Stock market leaps on aid optimism

STOCKS markets on Tuesday jumped upon the hope that a $2 trillion economic aid package would soon be approached by Congress (Shutterstock).

Riding on the hope that a massive economic stimulus bill is close to approval by Congress, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11.4 percent on Tuesday, its biggest leap since 1933.

That’s 2,112.98 points, rising to 20,704.91. The Standard and Poor 500 index was also up sharply, rising by 9.4 percent to 2,447.33.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress expressed optimism that a bill will pass bringing up to $2 trillion worth of aid to American households as well as small businesses and the travel industry.

The latter has been especially battered by the “stay-at-home” orders issued in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

A vote is expected later today or on Wednesday.

Trump wants country “opened” by Easter

President Donald Trump on Tuesday set a goal for when he wants to “reopen” the nation’s economy.

“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he said in a Fox News broadcast, referring to April 12.

He is also considering how to change social distancing guidelines to allow some employees to go back to work in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Trump argued that many Americans die from traffic accidents and flu outbreaks, “but we don’t turn the country off.”

Health officials are saying that unless Americans stay home from work and practice self-isolation, the infections will spread and overwhelm hospitals and other parts of the health care system in the U.S.

India will go to a 21-day lockdown Wednesday

Starting on Wednesday, the 1.3 billion people of India will go on lockdown for three weeks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement, which will include a “total ban on venturing out.”

Essential services such as banks, ATMs, grocery stores and gas stations will remain open.

India joins Great Britain as the latest nation to restrict movement in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. One-fifth of the world population is on some form of lockdown or “stay-at-home” order.

The Indian government is pledging $2 billion to help the nation’s health care system.

2020 Summer Olympics moved to 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will be postponed until 2021, it was announced on Tuesday in Japan, another victim of the coronavirus. The opening ceremonies were scheduled for July 24.

No specific date has been set, but it will be rescheduled not later than summer. Despite the postponement, it will still be called the “2020” games.

So far, there have been 390,000 cases of COVID-19 across the world, with over 17,000 deaths.

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