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Stimulus package advances as the economic recovery seems to stall: How the headlines can affect your money

Plus, what a "vote-a-rama" is.

In this image from Senate TV, Vice President Kamala Harris sits in the chair on the Senate floor to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 at the Capitol in Washington.
Senate TV via AP

Markets rise while economic recovery stalls. Democrats push forward a budget resolution that will make it easier to pass President Joe Biden's stimulus package. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets on the rise

Markets jumped on Thursday for the 4th day in a row. The Dow and S&P each rose 1.1%, while the Nasdaq rose 1.2%. Both the S&P and Nasdaq hit record highs. 

Friday morning, markets were continuing to rise.

More jobs added, but millions remain unemployed 

The United States added 49,000 nonfarm payroll jobs to the economy, according to the Labor Department, about 1,000 fewer than expected. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7%, lower than economists predicted. Job gains were mainly in professional services industries and local government education.

Some 4 million people have been unemployed for more than 6 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The hospitality sector lost 61,000 jobs and retail lost 38,000.

Overall, the economic recovery isn't reversing but may have stalled. "However, a significant economic recovery without a pandemic recovery is not possible, as a result the economic trajectory is largely a matter of epidemiological forecasting at this point," Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork, wrote on Twitter.

Stimulus package advances

Friday morning, the Senate passed a budget resolution that will pave the way to pass Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, including a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks, without the threat of a Republican filibuster. The bill, however, will not call for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The House passed the budget resolution Wednesday. But because the Senate made some amendments, the resolution will be sent back to the House to approve again. Lawmakers are expected to vote on it within the day. 

Suze Orman on how to use a second stimulus check

Video by Helen Zhao

Words you've heard: vote-a-rama

Before the Senate could pass the budget resolution, it had a vote-a-rama, a required and largely symbolic ritual that allows a party to avoid having to get 60 votes to pass a bill. During a vote-a-rama, senators can offer up an amendment, however controversial, and have their peers go on record either for or against. The votes during a vote-a-rama are nonbinding, though, and don't affect U.S. policy or laws. 

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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