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Fewer Americans could get a third stimulus check: Here's how the headlines could affect your money

A change in the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill affects about 12 million Americans.

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Markets faltered, unemployment claims beat expectations, and lawmakers plan to adjust third stimulus check eligibility. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets struggled

All three indexes ended lower on Wednesday after stocks climbed to all-time highs earlier in the week. The Dow dipped 0.4%. The S&P 500 fell by 1.3% as tech stocks performed poorly, and the Nasdaq closed down 2%.

The markets were seesawing much of Thursday. 

Investors continue to watch the Covid vaccine rollout: It's seen as critical to getting Americans back to work and improving the economy. President Joe Biden said this week that there should be enough supply to vaccinate every adult in the U.S. by the end of May.

Jobless claims better than expected

The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits for the first time came in better than expected, per the Labor Department. Jobless claims totaled 745,000 for the week ending February 27, lower than analyst estimates of 750,000.

The figure does represent a slight uptick from the 736,000 claims filed the previous week, though.

Adjusted eligibility for third stimulus check

During Senate negotiations, Biden reportedly backed a plan that would reduce the number of Americans eligible to receive a third stimulus check. 

Under the House version of the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, eligible adults making up to $100,000 (up to $200,000 for couples) would have received some payment. The new proposed phase-out levels would be $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for heads of households, and $150,000 for joint filers. 

The shift could affect about 12 million Americans, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says.

VIDEO2:1002:10
What is a high yield savings account?

Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Words you've heard: amorphous savings account

An "amorphous savings account" is one with no goals attached to it, CFP Brad Klontz told Grow. When you start putting money into general savings without a plan, "psychologically you're not very conscious about that account," he said.

Being targeted can keep you motivated, though, so name accounts or set goals like emergency savings and a retirement fund.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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