On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges

On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges

Happy Wednesday, and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Naomi Jagoda, filling in for Sylvan Lane, with your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

THE BIG DEAL: Initial jobless claims rise for second week, reach 778,000

Initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 778,000 in the third week of November, increasing for the second week in a row as rising levels of COVID-19 cases weakened demand and pushed states and localities to reimpose restrictions that affect businesses.

The figure was an increase of 30,000 over the previous week’s total, which itself was revised upward by 6,000.

Unadjusted claims rose 78,372 to 827,710, a 10.5 percent spike.

Another 311,675 people claimed benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, an emergency program that expands eligibility for benefits to the self-employed and gig economy workers, bringing overall new claims to nearly 1.1 million.

Read more from The Hill’s Niv Elis here.

 

Related: Dow dips below 30,000 milestone on rising jobless claims

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday fell below the landmark 30,000 level it breached for the first time a day earlier, following disappointing jobless claims data.

The Dow closed down 174 points, or 0.6 percent, at 29,940, while the S&P 500 dipped 5.8 points, or 0.2 percent, from its own record closing.

 

LEADING THE DAY: Mnuchin to put $455B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor’s reach

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC – Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience On The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed MORE signaled that he will move $455 billion in COVID-19 relief from the Federal Reserve back into the Treasury’s General Fund, a move that would make it harder for his successor to access the emergency funding.

Mnuchin said last week that he was shuttering a handful of the Fed’s emergency lending facilities, a move the central bank opposed in a rare critical statement. Those facilities, though little used during the pandemic, were seen as confidence boosters for capital markets.

The amount to be returned by Mnuchin was part of a $500 billion allocation in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE signed into law in late March.

Niv has more about the planned move here, including reaction from lawmakers.

 

Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges to NY high court

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office on Wednesday announced that it is appealing to New York’s highest court a ruling dismissing charges against Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHow to combat Putin’s financial aggression Like it or not, a Trump self-pardon may be coming soon DOJ veteran says he’s quitting over Barr’s ‘slavish obedience’ to Trump MORE, the former chairman of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Manafort was charged in New York state court in March 2019 with residential mortgage fraud and related offenses. In December 2019, a state judge threw out the charges, ruling they overlapped with bank fraud charges that Manafort had faced in federal court. A New York appeals court affirmed the judge’s ruling last month.

The DA’s office is now appealing the matter to the top court in the state, the New York Court of Appeals, according to a court filing dated Tuesday.

I have more on the move from the DA’s office here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

— Americans plan to spend more on Christmas gifts than they thought they would in October, according to a Gallup survey released Wednesday.

— The top appropriators in the House and Senate on Tuesday struck a deal on spending allocations, clearing a hurdle in the path toward reaching a broader deal to avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 11.

— Americans are lining up in historic numbers at food banks across the country this week as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates levels of food insecurity for millions of people.

 

OPINION

— “Biden should grant GSA Cabinet-level status — and its independence,” by Matthew T. Cornelius, executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation. 

— “The pandemic and a ‘rainy day fund’ for American charity,” by Howard Husock of The Philanthropy Roundtable.