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David Becker

US stocks rebounded on Monday rising after sliding on Friday. This came despite a forecast from the St. Louis Fed that showed that US unemployment could rise to 32% when the Labor Department reports on Friday. All three major average was up more than 3%. The rally weighed on the VIX volatility index which dropped below 60.

Macy’s announced they will furlough most of its employees starting this week as revenue has evaporated. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher, led by gains in healthcare, energy bucked the trend as crude oil prices dipped below $20 per barrel. Johnson and Johnson announced that it would begin clinical trials of its Covid-10 vaccine as early as September 2020.

Macy’s Furloughs Employees

Macy’s Inc. announced that the company will furlough the majority of its employees beginning this week as sales have evaporated. The department store operator, which employs roughly 130,000 people, told staff it would continue to pay health benefits and cover 100% of premiums at least through May. The company, which operates the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury chains, closed its stores effective March 18.

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J&J Announces Vaccine

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson plans to begin human clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine by September. Johnson & Johnson says it has been working on a vaccine since January and is partnering on the venture with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Unemployment Could Surge

The news is expected to be bleak. The St. Louis Federal Reserve announced that its forecasts that unemployment could rise to a 32.1% rate. The projections are even worse than St. Louis Fed President James Bullard’s much-publicized estimate of 30%. They reflect the high nature of at-risk jobs that ultimately could be lost to a government-induced economic freeze aimed at halting the coronavirus spread.

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