The Latest: Mnuchin says financial markets will stay open

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on action in the financial markets (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the financial markets will stay open for people to access their money during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mnuchin says at a White House briefing Tuesday that shorter hours may still be necessary. But he says banks and other institutions will not shut down as the U.S. grapples with the pandemic.

Mnuchin recalls that financial institutions closed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks because of disruptions to technology.

He says that’s not the case in the current situation.

Says Mnuchin: “We absolutely believe in keeping the markets open.”


12:30 p.m.

The stock market has doubled its gains as members of the Trump administration provide details about plans to support the U.S. economy during the coronavirus outbreak.

Included in whatever economic bailout package comes forth will be substantial financial aid for the airline industry. Shares of big carriers such as American and United have been pummeled as countries restrict travel and travelers choose to stay home.

The U.S. airlines have asked the federal government for grants, loans and tax relief that could easily top $50 billion to help them recover.

American, which might have the most precarious balance sheet among the major U.S. airlines, has jumped 25% this week as Trump voiced reassurances that his administration will support the industry. United, which said passenger traffic has plummeted in March because of the virus, has dropped 42% this month and is only marginally higher Tuesday.

The White House on Tuesday was asking Congress to approve a massive emergency rescue package to help businesses as well as taxpayers.

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