Pressure builds on Senate Republicans to move in direction of $3 trillion coronavirus relief measure favored by Democrats


Sen. Roy Blunt, headed into a weekly a lunch with fellow Republicans, appeared to grin a bit behind his mask when asked if the price tag of the next coronavirus aid package would rise as the President Donald Trump’s polling worsened.

“My view has always been that the president would be supportive of big amounts of money going to the economy right now,” he said.

The Democrats’ marker for the next package, the $3.448 trillion “Heroes Act,” won’t be taken up by the Senate, but with only two weeks before senators come back from the July 4 break, Republicans like Missouri’s Blunt face decisions on how to build a package and how big to make it. There are signs the discussions are breaking toward a “bigger is better” approach.

Of course, how one defines “big” is subjective.

On ABC’s “This Week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she thought Republicans “will come around” and support a large package. She said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has backed more spending, pointing to the risk of a worse recession.

Republicans “know we have to have a bill,” Pelosi said, adding that individual Republicans are calling her to make requests for items to be included in a final package.

“[Treasury] Secretary Mnuchin knows there has to be legislation,” she said. “They’ll be friendly.”

She said it was not time for face-to-face talks with Mnuchin, explaining that such negotiations typically come at the end of the process.

Even though lawmakers are unlikely to turn in earnest to a fifth coronavirus relief package until late July, ideas are percolating. Trump, in a television interview Monday, said there would be another round of checks to individuals. “We will be doing another stimulus package. It’ll be very good. It’ll be very generous,” he said.

The White House has reportedly been considering a $1 trillion infrastructure package that could boost the economy.

In recent days, a series of polls has shown Trump’s re-election campaign facing a rockier path. New York Times polls Thursday showed him trailing in key battleground states crucial to his 2016 election, and the Real Clear Politics average of national polls put Trump behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 10 percentage points.

While those factors may not be enough to nudge the White House and Senate Republicans all the way over to Pelosi’s $3 trillion–plus price tag, they could push them in that general direction.

Steve Ellis, president of anti-spending group Taxpayers for Common Sense, said the Democrats put “everything thing they could think of” in their bill.

“They won’t get all they want, but it is clear that the president and many senators want something, as well. It is better to do this package more targeted and thought out to ensure the assistance goes where it is most needed and effective,” he said.

Sen. Mike Rounds, a South Dakota Republican, said he can see the Paycheck Protection Program being extended and targeted to “those areas that were most dramatically impacted” and possibly another payroll tax break, for workers and companies.

“Incentives to go back to work, yes. But to do it safely is the critical part,” Rounds said.

“I think people, myself included, are watching the economic numbers carefully. All of the money we appropriated still has not yet been spent. The next bill, if there is one, will be very targeted,” said Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the first four coronavirus bills will cost about $2.404 trillion from 2020 to 2030. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan group focused on the debt, estimates about $1.8 trillion had been disbursed or allocated for disbursement by mid-June.

However, some Republican senators are starting with a hard line.

Sen. Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said: “My own advice is, let’s take a look at what has not been obligated, not been spent, and see if there’s a better way of directing that.”

“I certainly do not think we’re in a position today to have to authorize even a dollar more.”

Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat who sits on the Senate Small Business Committee, said factors other than politics could push Republicans toward agreeing to a bigger bill in July.

“Three things are coming together this month. The economy is not opening and growing as quickly as many of us had hoped. The pandemic is not as under control as many of us might have expected. And Americans are demanding action to respond to long-standing racial inequalities,” he said.

“If what my colleagues hear over the two weeks that they’re back in their states is anything like I’m hearing in Delaware, we’ll end up doing a big package.”



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Wall Street set to rise on trade deal relief; business activity data eyed By Reuters


© Reuters. Traders exit the 11 Wall St. door of the NYSE in New York

By Pawel Goraj and Devik Jain

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were set to rise on Tuesday as investors took heart from reassurances that the Phase 1 trade agreement with China was intact, while upbeat business activity data from Europe boded well for U.S. surveys due later.

“The China Trade Deal is fully intact,” President Donald Trump tweeted late on Monday after White House adviser Peter Navarro sparked confusion by saying the deal was over, roiling risk assets globally and sending S&P stock futures down as much as 1.7%.

While heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing this year have been a cause for concern, monetary and fiscal support worth trillions of dollars, businesses restarting and encouraging economic data have lifted the benchmark S&P 500 about 42% higher from its pandemic low hit in March. It is now just about 8% below its Feb. 19 record high.

A boost from technology stocks helped Wall Street’s three major indexes close higher on Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq registering its fourth record closing high this month.

“There’s a lot of money on the sidelines and as the country reopens, as the economy recovers, that money will be forced back in and that’s why we have a little bit more room to run here,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

“And then probably, we start to take a rest towards the end of the summer for a little bit before the economy truly starts to catch up to where the market is.”

After European stock markets were boosted by better-than-feared business activity surveys for June, all eyes will be on U.S. manufacturing and services sector PMI numbers, due 9:45 a.m. ET (1345 GMT).

At 8:12 a.m. ET, were up 311 points, or 1.2%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 32 points, or 1.03% and were up 70.5 points, or 0.7%.

Among premarket movers, Nike Inc (NYSE:) rose 2% as brokerages raised their price targets ahead of quarterly results on Thursday.

Translate Bio (NASDAQ:) soared 54% on plans to expand a vaccine collaboration with Sanofi (PA:) in a deal that could earn the U.S. biotech company more than $2 billion from the French drugmaker.

Boeing (NYSE:) Co’s top supplier Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:) Holdings slipped 5.3% after it said it was seeking relief from lenders as its finances were stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic and a 737 MAX production halt.

Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:) slipped 0.9% as BMO downgraded the chipmaker’s shares to “market perform”.

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Europe Higher on PMI Rebound, Trade Relief By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com – European stock markets pushed higher Tuesday, as better-than-expected business survey results bolstered confidence in the strength of the European economy’s recovery, 

investors expressed relief that the U.S.-China trade deal was still in place ahead of the latest business sentiment data.

At 5 AM ET (0900 GMT), the in Germany traded 1.7% higher, 40 rose 1.4%, the U.K.’s index was up 0.8%.

The moves were driven largely by an upside surprise in purchasing manager indices for France and Germany for June, which showed both of Europe’s two largest economies rebounding more quickly than expected.  The eurozone composite PMI rose to 47.5 from 31.9 in May, well above expectations for a reading of 42.4. The biggest improvement was notched by services, which had been slower to reopen from lockdown measures than the manufacturing sector.

Earlier, global stock markets had breathed a sigh of relief after U.S. President Donald Trump asserted that the U.S.-China trade deal was “fully intact”, contradicting his trade adviser Peter Navarro, who had told Fox News overnight that the trade deal with China was “over”. 

Navarro’s comments had revived memories of the trade war between the two countries, which roiled financial markets and dented global growth before being partially settled with the first phase of an agreement in January.

In corporate news, Intu Properties (LON:) stock soared 1.3% after the owner of shopping centers in the U.K. and Spain said it was in talks with lenders about new funding, but had also appointed KPMG to contingency plan for administration.

German metals trader Kloeckner & Co (DE:) jumped 15% after it provided positive earnings outlook for the second quarter, while payments company Wirecard rebounded 17% from distressed levels amid continuing speculation over its viability. German media reported that Markus Braun, who stepped down as CEO last week after the company disclosed a 1.9 bilion euro hole in its accounts, had been arrested. 

Rightmove (LON:) stock fell 1.1% after the U.K.’s largest online real estate portal and property website said it has cut salaries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while St. James’s Place (LON:) shares gained 1.9% after an upbeat assessment on asset flows and performance for June.

Oil prices edged higher Tuesday, amid relief over the lessening of U.S.-China tension regarding the trade deal. China is one of the world’s biggest oil importers, and a trade war with the U.S. would likely stunt its demand.

Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute will release its own data on crude oil and product inventories. Those numbers come in advance of government figures that are usually released on Wednesday.

At 3:40 AM ET, futures traded 0.4% higher at $40.88 a barrel. The international benchmark contract rose 0.5% to $43.30.

Elsewhere, rose 0.1% to $1,768.65/oz, while traded at 1.1294, up 0.3%.

 

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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European shares rise in relief over Trump’s China response By Reuters


© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) – European shares edged closer to a three-month high on Monday on hopes of a post-coronavirus global recovery, with investors relieved that the U.S. response to China’s national security law on Hong Kong was not as bad as feared.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () rose 1% by 0723 GMT and hovered near its strongest level since March 9, led by gains in banks (), miners () and travel & leisure stocks ().

U.S. President Donald Trump began the process of ending special treatment for Hong Kong to punish China on Friday, but did not mention actions that could undermine the Phase One trade deal.

Meanwhile, business activity surveys showed China’s factory activity grew at a slower pace in May but momentum in the services and construction sectors quickened as businesses emerged from shutdowns.

Euro zone manufacturing PMI numbers are due later in the day.

Among individual stocks, Italy’s Mediobanca (MI:) jumped 10% after billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio confirmed he had asked for green light from the European Central Bank to increase his stake in the company.

UK fashion brand Ted Baker (L:) fell 6.7% as it rolled out plans to raise 95 million pounds ($117.84 million) through a stock issue to help it ride out the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Markets in Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway are closed for Whit Monday holidays.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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With veto, Trump backs DeVos in battle over relief for scammed student-loan borrowers


U.S. President Donald Trump backed his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Friday evening in a battle over how much relief should be provided to student-loan borrowers who say they were scammed by their colleges.

Trump vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have required the Education Department to implement an Obama-era version of the borrower defense rule, a legal process borrowers can use to have their student loans cancelled if they believe they’ve been defrauded by their colleges.

The veto is the latest in a years-long controversy over the rule. Though on the books since the 1990s, the provision was rarely used until 2015 when amid the collapse of major for-profit college chain, Corinthian Colleges, borrowers began clamoring for relief under the law. In response to those debtors and pressure from advocates who organized them, the Obama administration created a process borrowers could use to file claims under the law.

Tens of thousands of borrowers from other for-profit colleges, including the now defunct ITT Technical Institute, filed for relief under the law, claiming their colleges used misleading job placement and graduation rates to lure them into taking on student loans, among other allegations.

Under DeVos, the Department of Education heightened the burden of proof for borrowers seeking relief, requiring them, among other provisions, to provide evidence that they’d been harmed financially by their schools’ actions. Borrower advocates have argued that the DeVos version of the rule would make it difficult for borrowers who had been scammed to obtain relief.

The DeVos-era Department of Education and its supporters have argued that their version of the rule would correct the “overreach” by the Obama administration and save taxpayers $11 billion over the next 10 years.

The bill, passed by the House in January and the Senate in March with the support of several Republican senators would have required the Department of Education to implement the Obama-era version of the rule.

If lawmakers are unable to override Trump’s veto, the DeVos version of the rule will take effect on July 1.

(Andy Keshner contributed reporting to this article.)



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