Coronavirus economic updates: Personal info of nearly 8,000 small business loans applicants exposed on SBA website

Here is the latest on the COVID-19-induced financial crisis.

April 21, 2020, 5:36 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health care crisis to a financial one, shuttering businesses, upending industries and sending financial markets reeling.

Here's the latest news on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the economy. For more on financial resources available during the pandemic, click here.

Here's how the day is unfolding. Please refresh for updates.

Senate approves $484B relief package for small business, hospitals, testing

The Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan deal Tuesday afternoon that will pump another $310 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal program designed to extend loans to small business owners to help retain their employees for two months and keep their companies afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The overall deal lawmakers and the White House agreed to tops $484 billion. This comes just weeks after Congress approved a $2 trillion stimulus package, the largest relief measure in American history.

The Senate attempted to pass $251 billion in aid for the small business loan program earlier in the month, but that vote failed.

The House is expected to vote on the massive deal on Thursday, before it heads to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, speaks with the press during a pro forma session where the Senate planned to vote on a nearly $500 billion package to further aid small businesses due to COVID-19.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, speaks with the press during a pro forma session where the Senate planned to vote on a nearly $500 billion package to further aid small businesses due to COVID-19.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

US financial markets extend losses

U.S. financial markets continued to slide Tuesday, adding to Monday's steep losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 630 points, or 2.7%, Tuesday. The S&P 500 was down 3% and the Nasdaq tumbled 3.5%.

Among the worst performers for the Dow were Merck, Boeing and Intel, which all lost approximately 5%.

Even the best performer Tuesday, Exxon Mobil, closed down by a fraction of a percentage point.

The Dow's two-day losses total more than 1,200 points.

Personal information of nearly 8,000 small business loans applicants exposed on SBA website

The Small Business Administration confirmed Tuesday that the personal information of nearly 8,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applicants was potentially exposed to other applicants on the SBA's website.

"We immediately disabled the impacted portion of the website, addressed the issue, and relaunched the application portal," an SBA spokesperson told ABC News.

Moreover, applicants were notified and offered one year of free credit monitoring, the spokesperson said.

The EIDL program is designed to help small businesses impacted by unexpected hardships such as natural disaster and was expanded amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA offered loans up to $2 million directly to business owners through the program and some loans would be given as a forgivable advance "within days of a successful application," suggesting it could be a faster option than the Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act.

Collapse of US crude oil market comes amid Russian efforts to harm US energy sector, DHS report says

PHOTO: An offshore oil platform glows at dusk off the coast of Huntington Beach, Calif., April 20, 2020.
An offshore oil platform glows at dusk off the coast of Huntington Beach, Calif., April 20, 2020. Oil prices traded in negative territory for the first time as the spread of COVID-19 impacts global demand.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

The unprecedented collapse of the crude oil market in the U.S. is one of the key strategic objectives of the Russian government, according to a Department of Homeland Security Intelligence analysis reviewed by ABC News.

"Russia is intentionally trying to reduce oil prices by maintaining artificially high production even as COVID-19 has reduced demand for oil," DHS analysts wrote in the analysis that was distributed to administration officials on April 15. "According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil demand fell from 24.5 million barrels per day in April 2019 to 19.2 million barrels per day in April 2020, a roughly 22 percent drop."

Despite an April 12 agreement by OPEC and its allies to cut global production by nearly 10%, "the current cuts are still out of sync with the current level of demand, which has fallen about 35% since before the COVID-19 crisis," the report said.

"Russia’s actions probably are driven by a desire to improve its position in the oil market at the expense of the United States, which has posed a significant challenge to Russia’s profitability and influence in the global oil market," the analysts wrote.

The initial refusal by Russia to participate in production cuts was "driven by Russia's animosity towards the market position of the U.S. shale industry, as well as by U.S. sanctions on the Russian energy sector," they wrote, citing Western media.

The intelligence analysts concluded that Russia's ongoing attempts to undermine the U.S. shale industry, if successful, "will harm U.S. production, energy independence, and jobs, both being involved in shale production and supporting industries."

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he has asked the "Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Treasury to formulate a plan which will make funds available" for the U.S. oil and gas industry.

West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery saw some gains Tuesday after a historic sell-off Monday, rising to approximately $5 a barrel. On Monday, prices plummeted below $0 per barrel for the first time in history.

Facebook begins accepting applications for its Small Business Grants program

Facebook, which previously announced it was offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, officially opened applications for the financing on Tuesday.

Applications are available now for small businesses in New York City, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. They will open up to "all other eligible U.S. cities" on April 22.

To be eligible to apply, small businesses must have between two and 50 employees, have been in business for over a year, have experienced "challenges from COVID-19," be a for-profit company and be in or near a location where Facebook operates.

The announcement comes as the federal government's small business loan program reportedly ran out of money late last week.

Walmart to require all employees to wear masks

PHOTO: People wearing masks and gloves wait to enter a Walmart on April 17, 2020 in Uniondale, N.Y.
People wearing masks and gloves wait to enter a Walmart on April 17, 2020 in Uniondale, N.Y.
Al Bello/Getty Images

Walmart announced over the weekend that associates at its stores and Sam's Clubs nationwide will now be required to wear masks.

"We will begin requiring that associates wear masks or other face coverings at work. This includes our stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, as well as in our corporate offices. We’ll also be encouraging customers and members to wear face coverings when they shop with us," John Furner, the CEO of Walmart, and Kath McLay, the CEO of Sam's Club, wrote in a memo to staff.

"We have evolved our policy on face coverings from optional to mandatory as public health guidance has shifted," they added. "The CDC now recommends wearing face coverings in public settings, including grocery stores, to help curb the spread of the virus."

The announcement comes amid increasing calls for personal protective equipment for essential workers at grocery stores and more.

Earlier this month, Walmart was hit with a wrongful death lawsuit after an employee died from COVID-19 complications. His family claimed the store did not do enough to protect employees from the novel coronavirus.

ABC News' Josh Margolin, Victor Ordonez, Sarah Kolinovsky, Trish Turner, Mariam Khan and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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