COVID-19

What happened to the stock market today?

Marketplace Staff Mar 9, 2020
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A trader reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

What happened to the stock market today?

Marketplace Staff Mar 9, 2020
A trader reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Ongoing fears of economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak mixed with falling oil prices sent stocks plunging Monday, causing the markets to halt trading early in the morning. The spreading disease has led to Wall Street’s weakest performances since the 2008 financial crisis.

To explain what happened, Megan Greene, economist and senior fellow at Harvard University, spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about the acceleration of the illness and its impact on global supply and demand. They also discussed how these events could play out long term.

“It depends entirely on epidemiology,” Greene said. “And none of us really have answers there. So it really depends on how far this virus spreads.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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