“It’s still all about stimulus at this point: we’re seeing markets move on optimism that some kind of package is going to get done,” Esty Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment Managers, told the Wall Street Journal’s Anna Hirtenstein and Ben Eisen.
At the same time, the political mood was trending in the opposite direction. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, President Trump’s lead negotiator, told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the president wanted to pursue a comprehensive package, a Pelosi spokesman said, according to Erica Werner and Jeff Stein. Yet as Mnuchin made the assertion to Pelosi on a phone call, White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah told reporters that Trump wanted a “skinny” bill, only extending aid to airlines, forgivable loans to small businesses and another round of stimulus checks to individuals.
“We’ve made very clear we want a skinny package,” Farah said.
In fact, Trump has been all over the place.
Trump, tweeting from the Bethesda military hospital where he was being treated for coronavirus on Saturday, urged both sides to come to an agreement. By Tuesday, he sent stocks into a selloff by tweeting that he was calling off talks altogether before the election. Then he staked out his support for a more targeted bailout in a series of tweets later Tuesday night. Trump came all the way back around to pulling for a comprehensive deal after seeing the stock market reaction to his move to cancel talks altogether, Axios reports.
Stocks opened higher Thursday after Trump, in an interview on Fox Business Network, affirmed his interest in such a deal. “I shut down talks two days ago because they weren’t working out. Now they‘re starting to work out,” the president said. “We’re talking about airlines. And we’re talking about a bigger deal than