The U.S. central bank now has a stake in the fortunes of a broad swath of corporate America after buying about $1.3 billion (1.06 billion pounds) of bond funds with debt issued by firms in all walks of the world's biggest economy, from Apple Inc to a clutch of companies in bankruptcy.
Unemployment rates rose and total employment fell in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in April as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to close across the country, the Labor Department said on Friday.
Three-quarters of U.S. small businesses sought assistance through the Payroll Protection Program in a sign of the widespread financial distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but fewer than 40% had received help by early May, the Census Bureau said on Thursday.
The record 20.2 million U.S. private-sector jobs lost in April from coronavirus lockdowns cut across most industries and affected workers at companies of all sizes.
Coast-to-coast shutdowns of businesses and stay-at-home orders from the effort to contain the new coronavirus pandemic took their toll on U.S. consumer prices in March, sending them down by the most in five years.
The job losses suffered in March as the U.S. economy shut down in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic were widespread but still were disproportionately felt in a handful of employment sectors and by women, the young and the less educated.
The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet soared past $5 trillion in assets for the first time this week as it scooped up bonds and extended loans to banks, mutual funds and other central banks in its unprecedented effort to backstop the economy in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.