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US Dollar, S&P 500 Eyeing Bipartisan US Fiscal Stimulus Package

US Dollar, S&P 500 Eyeing Bipartisan US Fiscal Stimulus Package

2020-03-23 01:00:00
Dimitri Zabelin, Analyst

US Dollar, S&P 500, US Fiscal Stimulus Package, Coronavirus – TALKING POINTS

  • US Dollar, S&P 500 could advance if Congress passes bipartisan stimulus package
  • Fed board member James Bullard warns unemployment rate may rise to 30% in Q2
  • Presidential election, political polarization could lead to delays of ratifying a bill

US Dollar, S&P 500, US Fiscal Stimulus Package, Coronavirus – TALKING POINTS

The US Dollar and equity markets are being tormented by uncertainty surrounding the US fiscal response to the coronavirus as Republican and Democratic lawmakers wrestle to push their own plan forward. Early into Asia’s Monday trading session, news outlets announced that Democrats had blocked the Republican-held Senate’s fiscal plan after talks broke down. It was estimated to inject $1.6 trillion into the economy.

US Dollar Index, S&P 500 Futures – Daily Chart

Chart showing US Dollar, S&P 500

US Dollar index chart created using TradingView

However, following the fallout, US President Donald Trump said he will work with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to get a stimulus package through. He added that the world’s largest economy may need another cash injection, though hopefully this will not be required. The Speaker said the House will now push ahead with its own bill, which will test the validity of the President’s pledge to work across the aisle.

“We’ll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it will be compatible” Ms. Pelosi said on Sunday, with expectations that the House Appropriations Committee could have the legislative text drafted as soon as Monday. However, the fluidity of the situation and anticipation of compromise make forecasting for what the plan could be exceptionally difficult in an already uncertain environment.

The original Senate plan – known as the CARES Act – includedsending $1,200 checks to every qualifying American and delaying tax filings from April 15 to July 15. It also includes billions of dollars’ worth of emergency relief funds to distressed businesses. In addition, approximately $58 billion in loans and loan guarantees to distressed airline companies that face bankruptcy would be made available.

James Bullard Sends Chilling Message About US GDP, Unemployment Rate

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that the unemployment rate in the US could skyrocket to 30 percent in the second quarter, with expectations of a 50% dip in GDP. He said, “everything is on the table” and struck a similar note to Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who said in a CBS interview that monetary authorities could do more if necessary.

Here is a summary of what the Fed did last week. In regard to the prior liquidity injection, Mr. Bullard said “we can go much higher if necessary” and suggested the central bank could look into giving more help to distressed short-term corporate debt markets. The latter has become a particular concern, especially in the leveraged loan space that policymakers fear could exacerbate a downturn.

Mr. Bullard – like many central bank officials all over the world – stressed that monetary policy alone cannot completely cushion the economic blow dealt by Covid-19. He also emphasized the need for a powerful fiscal response to help the US economy recover from the virus-induced disruption. However, as we have already seen, reaching a consensus may be difficult.

Coronavirus Update: Total Confirmed Cases Extend Beyond 330,000

Chart showing coronavirus

Source: Johns Hopkins

This may have to do with the upcoming US Presidential election. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have a strong interest in pushing a stimulatory policy forward that they can take credit for ahead of when ballots are cast in November. Consequently, this tug-of-war could result in delays and undermine what are now flickers of optimism about a coordinated effort that just might cushion the impact of an incoming recession.


--- Written by Dimitri Zabelin, Jr Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com

To contact Dimitri, use the comments section below or @ZabelinDimitrion Twitter

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