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The Fed’s rescue plan is undermined by a drum beat of bad news

The Federal Reserve unveiled a vast expansion of its efforts to shore up businesses and keep markets functioning. But the brief boost for Wall Street was soon wiped away as Washington lawmakers failed again to come together on a nearly $2 trillion rescue package.

Across the landscape of American business, grim news abounded Monday as the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed the country.

Boeing said it was temporarily idling 70,000 factory workers in Washington Business News State after about 30 employees tested positive for Covid-19. Twitter said its revenue would take a hit as advertising has declined. Nordstrom, its cash diminished, drew down $800 million in credit. And General Electric said it would cut 10 per cent of workers in its aviation unit.

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The biggest factor again driving markets was Congress, which hit another wall in its attempt to push through a fiscal stimulus package.

Senate Democrats blocked the progress of the nearly $2 trillion government rescue package for a second time as they continued to negotiate for stronger protections for workers and restrictions for bailed-out businesses.

The S&P 500 fell about 3 percent Monday, adding to a 15 per cent plunge last Press Release Distribution Services For Business week as traders remained cautious about the Fed’s ability to shift the trajectory of an economy that appears to be in free-fall because of the coronavirus crisis.

“It is hard for the Fed to stimulate underlying demand. For that, fiscal stimulus is needed,” Randy Watts, chief investment strategist at William O’Neil, an equity research and advisory firm, wrote in an email. “The deal in the Senate of the fiscal stimulus bill is obviously disappointing.”

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