Steven Mnuchin Hints at Shortening Trading Hours but Insists Stock Market Will Remain Open

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 13: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the press outside of the West Wing of the White House on March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Mnuchin fielded questions about the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday at the White House that the Trump administration wanted to keep the stock markets open during the coronavirus crisis but that it was open to the concept of shortening trading hours.

“We absolutely believe in keeping the markets open,” he said. “Americans need to know that they have access to their money.”

Mnuchin said that he had spoken with the New York Stock Exchange and major banks about the stock markets.

“Everybody wants to keep it open,” he said. “We may get to a point where we shorten the hours if that’s something they need to do.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 400 points after Mnuchin commented on the markets and detailed an economic rescue package for industries affected by the virus. On Monday, the Dow Jones fell by 2.997 points, or 12.93 percent.

The stock market was closed for four straight trading days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, causing traders to wonder if the dramatic market drops inspired by the coronavirus would be allowed to continue.

Mnuchin said the only reason the stock markets were closed after 9/11 was that the technology was disrupted.

“Americans should know that we’re going to do everything to make sure that they have access to their money in their banks, to the money in their 401ks, and the money in their stocks,” he said.

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