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Stocks cut losses as Schumer says Congress is ‘close’ to aid deal

Stocks pared losses in afternoon trading Monday after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Congress was “very close” to reaching a deal on a stimulus package to combat the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 200 points, cutting losses after dropping more than 900 points. The blue-chip average briefly wiped out its gains since Election Day 2016 when it slumped to session lows. 

The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 1.3%, putting it on pace to erase nearly all of its gains since President Donald Trump was inaugurated. On Friday, stocks posted their worst week since the financial crisis.

With Monday’s losses, the stock market has lost more than a third of its value since its record last month, as more businesses shut down in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Stocks dropped sharply in morning trading even as the Federal Reserve prepared to launch an expansion of lending programs in an effort to shield the economy from the virus. 

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