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COVID-19

NYSE president: The stock market is “not necessarily reflective” of the economy

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal May 22, 2020
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New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham speaking in 2018. Jewel Samad/Getty Images
COVID-19

NYSE president: The stock market is “not necessarily reflective” of the economy

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal May 22, 2020
Heard on:
New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham speaking in 2018. Jewel Samad/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange is reopening on Tuesday after being closed for two months. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Stacey Cunningham, president of the New York Stock Exchange, about what’s been going on with the stock market.

“The stock market is not necessarily reflective of all elements of the economy,” Cunningham said. Indexes like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average only represent investor sentiment for a subset of companies. “That’s not capturing what some of the small and midsize businesses who aren’t part of those indexes are going through right now.”

Though Cunningham said all-electronic trading at the NYSE has worked for the past 2 months, she said getting traders back on the floor will mean less volatility.

“What we’re missing when we move to this model when we’ve shut the floor is the value of human judgment,” Cunningham said.

Most employees at the NYSE will continue to work remotely, while 25% of floor brokers will return with new social-distancing measures.

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?

Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.

How has the pandemic changed scientific research?

Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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