Initial jobless claims continued to soar at historic levels, with 4.4M Americans being added to the ranks of the unemployed last week.
March durable goods orders fell by -14.4%, worse than the expected -12% decline, though similar data concerns as last week’s retail data (fewer responses amid business closures) mean that there are fears the actual numbers may be worse than this, and downward revisions could be coming.
Phase 4 relief was signed into law on Friday, providing an additional $484B in funds to continue to quickly used funds in the small business loan program as well as additional assistance to hospitals and testing as the U.S. death toll surpassed 50,000. Measures to help state and local governments were left out of this bill, setting up a conflict between the House and Senate as House Speaker Pelosi said this assistance would be central to new talks and Senate Majority Leader McConnell suggested states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy.
States are increasingly talking about reopening strategies, with Georgia the first to ease restrictions on Friday and Monday, though many mayor’s and many businesses indicated they intend to remain closed for now and a group of U.S. business leaders calling for a coordinated approach to reopening the economy.