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Mid-Week Market Minute 03.18.20

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Following one of the worst weeks in stock market history, investors found little relief in early trading this week as stocks around the world continued to sell-off. Despite aggressive central bank intervention, market volatility has spiked to levels never seen before. On Tuesday, CNBC reported the White House is seeking a stimulus package worth anywhere from $850 billion to more than $1 trillion, with the goal of mitigating the economic impacts of the virus. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a press conference, “Americans need cash now” and hopes to provide direct payments to U.S. citizens within the coming weeks. This fiscal stimulus package is designed to help Americans weather the storm and provide relief for small businesses during these times of reduced economic activity. In an effort to facilitate critical short-term lending for businesses, the Federal Reserve announced a special plan to purchase corporate paper from issuers having a difficult time finding buyers in the open market. Interest rates remain volatile with the yield on the 10-year Treasury trading north of 1.05% mid-week after trading as low as 0.34% just a couple of weeks ago. While the recent sell-off in equity markets has been quite fierce, it is important to keep things in perspective. As of Tuesday’s close, the S&P 500 Index was still right around where we ended the year 2018.