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Here’s what’s in the $2 trillion relief bill

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A view of the Capitol’s Rotunda is seen reflected in an ambulance as negotiations on a COVID-19 economic bailout continue on Capitol Hill March 24, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

The Senate released an unprecedented stimulus bill Wednesday, estimated to cost $2 trillion, as Congress tries to lessen the coronavirus pandemic’s human and economic toll. 

The chamber hopes to move quickly to pass the legislation Wednesday night as workers face widespread layoffs, hospitals and states starve for resources and businesses small and large worry about their survival. The House is unlikely to pass the proposal before Thursday. 

The bill, designed to offer relief to individuals, the health care system and even an entire corporate sector ravaged by the outbreak, would: 

  • Give direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 added for every child, based on 2019 tax returns for those who filed them and 2018 information, if they have not. The benefit would start to phase out above $75,000 in income for individuals and $150,000 for couples, going away completely at the $99,000 and $198,000 thresholds, respectively
  • Boost unemployment insurance, adding $600 per week for up to four months on top of what beneficiaries normally receive from states. It expands eligibility to self-employed people and independent contractors
  • Create a $500 billion pool of taxpayer money to make loans, loan guarantees or investments to or in businesses, states and municipalites damaged by the crisis
  • Give $25 billion in grants to airlines and $4 billion to cargo carriers to be used exclusively to pay employee wages, salaries and benefits, and set aside another $25 billion and $4 billion, respectively, for loans and loan guarantees 
  • Provide $17 billion in loans and loan guarantees for unspecified “businesses critical to maintaining national security”
  • Put $117 billion into hospitals and veterans’ health care 
  • Provide $16 billion for the strategic national stockpile of pharmaceutical and medical supplies
  • Give $350 billion in loans for small businesses to cover salary, wages and benefits, worth 250% of an employer’s monthly payroll, with a maximum loan of $10 million
  • Include a tax credit for retaining employees, worth up to 50% of wages paid during the crisis, for businesses forced to suspend operations or that have seen gross receipts fall by 50% from the previous year
  • Require group health plans and insurance providers to cover preventive services related to coronavirus without cost sharing
  • Delay payroll tax for employers, requiring half of the deferred tax to be paid by the end of 2021 and the other half by the end of 2022 
  • Ban companies that take government loans from buying back stock until a year after the loan is paid back
  • Bar employees or executives who made at least $425,000 last year from getting a raise
  • Stop President Donald Trump and his family members’ businesses from receiving emergency taxpayer relief. The provision also applies to Vice President Mike Pence, heads of executive departments, members of Congress and their family members 
  • Suspend federal student loan payments through Sept. 30 with no accrual of interest on those loans 

As the coronavirus disease COVID-19 spreads across the U.S., there are now more than 65,000 cases and at least 900 deaths from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Patients have flooded hospitals in New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., as states around the country plead for more critical resources such as masks and ventilators. 

As businesses and schools close across the country to slow the outbreak, a wave of layoffs and furloughs has hit Americans. States are expected to report historic unemployment claims as the economy slows and workers struggle to cover bills. 

— CNBC’s Kayla Tausche contributed to this report

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Australia stocks jump 3%; China to release manufacturing PMI numbers

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Stocks in Asia Pacific traded higher on Tuesday morning ahead of the release of China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for March, expected at 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN.

Australian shares led gains in the region’s major markets, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 3.17%. The moves came after the index got off to a flying start to the week and surged by 7% on Monday.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi also rose 1.63% while the Kosdaq index gained 2.58%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw more muted gains as it added 0.51%, while the Topix index advanced 0.13%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.76% higher.

Investors will be watching for the release of China’s official manufacturing PMI for March on Tuesday morning. The data could offer clues to the scale of economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak in China, where the disease was first reported.

“We expect the official manufacturing PMI to rebound from 35.7pt in February to 45pt in March,” Joseph Capurso, senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note. “That would be above the GFC‑low of 38.8pt reached in November 2008,” he said referring to the Global Financial Crisis.

PMI readings below 50 signify a contraction, while figures above that level indicate an expansion.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 690.70 points to close at 22,327.48 while the S&P 500 added 3.4% to end its trading day at 2,626.65. The Nasdaq Composite also closed 3.6% higher at 7,774.15.

Oil prices attempted to rebound from the previous day’s plunge in the morning of Asian trading hours on Tuesday. International benchmark Brent crude futures gained 1.19% to $23.03 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were also up 2.84% to $20.66 per barrel.

The moves came after oil prices plummeted Monday to levels not seen in almost two decades — Brent fell 8.7% to settle at $22.76 per barrel, a price last seen in 2002. U.S. crude fell 6.6%, or $1.42, to settle at $20.09, its lowest level since February 2002.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.221, below levels above 100 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.04 per dollar after touching an earlier high of 107.72. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6167, still above levels below $0.6 seen last week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap in the trading day ahead:

  • China: Official manufacturing PMI and non-manufacturing PMI for March at 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN

⁠— CNBC’s Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.

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Global cases continue to climb

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This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

  • Global cases: More than 782,300
  • Global deaths: At least 37,582
  • Top 5 countries: United States (161,807), Italy (101,739), Spain (87,956), China (82,198), and Germany (66,885)

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 7:42 a.m. Beijing time.

All times below are in Beijing time.

7:19 am: US cases surpass 160,000

The total number of reported cases of coronavirus infection in the United States was at least 161,807, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Among them, at least 2,978 have died and just over 5,500 people have recovered in the country, the data revealed.

Global cases continued their upward trend, standing at least 782,319 reported instances of infection worldwide, according to JHU. The data also showed the worldwide death toll stood at more than 37,500 as countries continued to implement stricter social distancing measures in an effort to slow the virus’ spread. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:10 am: Italy has more than 100,000 cases but says new infections have slowed

In one of the worst-hit countries in the global pandemic, Italy’s health ministry reported that as of 6 p.m. local time on March 30, there were at least 101,739 total cases of infection among its 60 million citizens. But the ministry said the rate of new cases declined; though Reuters reported that could also be due to fewer COVID-19 tests being conducted. 

At least 11,591 people died and about 14,620 have recovered from the illness. 

A woman prays during the Sunday Holy Mass celebrated by priests from the roof of the church San Gabriele dell’Addolorata in Rome on March 29, 2020, amid the spread of the COVID-19 (new coronavirus) pandemic.

Tiziana Fabi | AFP | Getty Images

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told El Pais newspaper that Italy was “in the most acute phase” of the outbreak and that it was reasonable to believe that the peak was near. But, concerns remain about another surge in the number of cases in the coming days. For its part, Italy is set to extend its nationwide lockdown measures at least until the Easter season, Reuters reported. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

6:41 pm: Department of Defense watchdog appointed inspector general for $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package

The Defense Department’s internal watchdog will serve as newly named chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a body created to oversee the roughly $2 trillion stimulus deal that President Donald Trump signed into law last week in response to the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus outbreak.

Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general of the Department of Defense, was appointed by another committee of IGs assigned by the new law to name a chair. 

Fine will oversee a board of fellow inspectors general, all responsible for monitoring their respective departments. They include the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, as well as the Treasury, the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. — Lauren Hirsch

6:35 pm: Airbnb extends coronavirus cancellation window to May 31, sets aside $250 million to pay hosts for missed stays

Airbnb announced it will allow guests to receive full refunds for any trips starting on or before May 31 that were booked prior to March 14, as the company continues to struggle through the coronavirus’ impact on the travel industry. The company will also set aside $250 million to pay hosts for the missed bookings.

Airbnb announced the decision in a letter sent to hosts in an effort to rebuild Airbnb’s relationship with its partners. Previously, the company had said that it would allow guests to cancel and receive full refunds for trips between March 14 and April 14.

That decision overrode many hosts’ existing cancellation policies that ensured they still received partial payments for those bookings. Many hosts harshly criticized Airbnb for that decision, and several told CNBC that they would be moving their properties onto other websites and into the long-term rental market. — Sal Rodriguez

6:27 pm: Field hospital goes up in New York City’s Central Park

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Stock futures rise, extending rebound from coronavirus sell-off

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Stock futures climbed slightly higher in overnight trading on Monday, continuing the market’s rebound from its deep rout triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 70 points. The S&P 500 futures also traded 10 points higher.

The overnight action followed a strong session on Wall Street, with the Dow jumping nearly 700 points led by an 8% pop in Johnson & Johnson after it announced a vaccine candidate for the coronavirus. The S&P 500 rallied 3.4%.

Investors embraced a more realistic government approach to contain the pandemic. President Donald Trump extended the timeline for social distancing guidelines to April 30, which many believe will reduce economic damage in the long run. 

“I think the market has established some type of bottom,” Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said on CNBC’s Special on Monday. “I don’t know if this is October ’08 here; We still have some wood to chop.”

Stocks have managed to rally on concerning economic data including last week’s record number of jobless claims and Monday’s worse-than-expected manufacturing reading from the Dallas Fed, Lee noted.

“If we are rallying on bad news, I think that’s a sign that we are probably at a bottom,” Lee said.

Stocks also built on last week’s historic rally, where the Dow and S&P 500 posted their best three-day win streaks since the 1930s. With Monday’s gains, the Dow is now up 20% from its coronavirus sell-off low reached on March 23 while the S&P 500 has risen more than 17% from those levels. 

Still, the consensus on Wall Street calls for more selling before the market can hit a bottom. Historically, Bear markets are often punctuated by sharp bounces on their way down to a trough. 

“Last week’s double-digit gain for markets was a welcome relief rally, though market bottoms are rarely as clean as this one has been,” said Mark Hackett, Nationwide’s chief of investment research. “Markets will need to reflect more traditional interactions before confidence in a bottom can be reached.”

Investors continued to grapple with the worsening outbreak in the U.S. as the confirmed cases rose to more than 153,200, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has also officially become the country most affected. Trump said Sunday he hopes the country will “be well on our way to recovery” by June 1.

“We anticipate that market volatility will resist until liquidity, credit, and health risks have demonstrably passed,” said Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments. “With major policy stimulus now in place in the U.S., we expect grim health and social news to dominate the next couple of weeks.”

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