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Call it a good news/bad news situation.
When the Senate passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package by a 96-0 vote on March 25, the economy was in free fall. The S&P 500 stood at 2,475 points, and a record 6.9 million jobless claims were filed that week. Economists were talking about Great Depression 2.0.
But this time around, stimulus negations are happening with the backdrop of an improving economy. And that is reducing the political pressure for Republican and Democratic leaders to comprise.
On Friday we learned the unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% in July to 8.4% in August. That soundly beat Goldman Sachs’ estimate of 9.8%. And the U.S. added—or we should say regained—1.4 million jobs in August.