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  1. Wall Street spent most of the day in a rally, but tumbled dramatically as President Trump declared a national emergency. Wall Street tumbled and then soared Friday afternoon as President Donald Trump announced he was declaring a national emergency and implementing a series of "decisive" measures to address the coronavirus pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had surged by around 1,200 points earlier in the day, sank by around 500 points as the president addressed the nation from the White House Rose Garden, flanked by health officials and members of the coronavirus task force. The blue-chip index then soared to a gain of more than 1,000 points as key details of the White House response were revealed, including a close collaboration with companies such as Walmart, Target, and Google. The S&P 500 notched up a gain of over 6 percent and the Nasdaq spiked by 5.5 percent. Markets are still waiting for concrete action on an economic relief package, which lawmakers and the White House have so far failed to produce. “I think we’re very close to getting this done. The president is absolutely committed that this will be an entire government effort, that we will be working with the House and Senate," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Friday morning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed Friday to pass a coronavirus relief bill before the weekend, though she said negotiations with Mnuchin were still ongoing. Market optimism also grew after news reports the Group of Seven governments would work together to create a coordinated economic response to the viral pandemic. Friday's rally follows a massive meltdown, with Thursday marking the official end of the longest bull-market run in history. The S&P 500 plummeted 9.5 percent and the Dow tumbled by 10 percent. It has been the worst week for equities since 2008, prompting questions as to whether or not the Federal Reserve will implement a massive rate cut of one full percentage point at its meeting next week. “There are no guarantees here, and things could get worse,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, told CNBC. “If the number of cases continues to increase, the economic damage will go from hitting confidence to something worse. If the economy deteriorates, markets will reflect that shift." Source
  2. Trump has faced increasing criticism over his administration's response to the pandemic. President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency Friday to allow more direct relief to Americans affect by the coronavirus, two administration officials told NBC News. The move could help open up tens of billions of dollars to help fight the rapidly spreading pandemic. Trump announced earlier in the day that he will hold a press conference Friday afternoon about the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The president's tweet comes amid the rapid spread of the virus and as the White House has scrambled to craft a strategy to shift Trump's response to the outbreak, which had been focused on downplaying the threat and accusing the media of creating undue concern. Trump has come under increasing fire in recent weeks over his response to the pandemic while his administration weathered criticism for the lack of coronavirus testing being done compared with other countries. In addition to having insisted for weeks that he had the outbreak under control, Trump has also propagated personal beliefs about the coronavirus that contradict those of veteran health officials and experts. As panic began to set in over the outbreak, Trump tried to quell the fears of Americans across the country by giving a speech from the Oval Office on Wednesday night. He announced that he would ban many foreign travelers from Europe for the next 30 days and offered a series of economic relief actions to help workers and companies deal with the outbreak. But his speech was met with swift pushback after he misstated several aspects of the policy and failed to propose any new action to combat the outbreak domestically. Health officials in recent days have sounded the alarm, warning the public that the outbreak is likely to get worse. Many major public events, including all NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB preseason games and Broadway shows, have been canceled this week, and Thursday saw the Dow's worst day since the 1987 crash. Wall Street, however, rallied on Friday, bouncing firmly back after lawmakers and the White House appeared close to finalizing an economic relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic. Source
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