Update (1245ET): Listen, President Trump knows that a stock market rebound will be critical if he's to win reelection, if for no other reason because of the perception of a stronger economy, because as we've seen in the past, the consumption-boosting powers of the wealth effect are very real.
But when prodded by reporters on Friday after another heated press briefing, Trump said he doesn't want companies spending "millions of dollars on buybacks" right now, and that he thinks their No. 1 focus should be their workers.
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Update (1205ET): Shortly after raising the state department's global travel advisory to 'Level 4' , Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during Friday's task force presser that all "nonessential" travel over the Mexican border would be banned beginning at midnight.
Pompeo said the ban was the result of a mutual agreement with the Mexican government, mirroring the US-Canada travel restrictions, which are apparently going to be reviewed.
Neither of these agreements with Canada and Mexico will apply to trade and commerce.
Here are a few more headlines from the press conference:
- TRUMP SAYS TALKS WITH SCHUMER WENT WELL
- TRUMP SAYS WILL SUSPEND STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS FOR AT LEAST 60 DAYS
- TRUMP: SUSPENDING NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL FROM MEXICO
DHHS Secretary Alex Azar added that the US and Italy reported their first cases of COVID-19 on the same day, but have seen drastically different trajectories.
Trump added that he doesn't have any plans for a national lockdown because New York and California are the "two hotspots": "New York, California, Miami, we have some pretty hot spots in Florida too, and the state of Washington of course, though if you look at it it was largely one nursing home...we;re working with the governors and I don't think we'll ever find that necessary."
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As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 14,000, the White House task force is holding its Friday task force, where we imagine we'll be hearing an update about the Senate's proposed $1 trillion economic stimulus and 'helicopter money' package.
It's slated to start at 11:45, but we imagine it will kick off at least a few minutes behind.