Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: The Stock Market Will Stay Open During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 4:30PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Investors don't need to worry about the liquidity of their stocks.

There has been speculation that the U.S. stock markets could close as the COVID-19 novel coronavirus epidemic unfolds, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave investors some welcome news on Tuesday.

Mnuchin assured investors that the Trump administration and Wall Street have absolutely no plans to close the markets and are committed to keeping the stock markets open for the duration of the pandemic. He did say that trading hours could potentially be reduced if it's determined that doing so would help in the fight for the virus, but this news still gave investors a big sigh of relief.

Looking down Wall Street at sunrise.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why keeping the markets open is such a big deal

As we've seen over the past few weeks, stocks can take investors on quite a roller coaster ride. They can be extremely volatile, and virtually impossible to predict over any short period of time.

There are two big reasons people are willing to put up with the ups and downs and invest in stocks. First, despite any short-term volatility, the stock market tends to produce excellent returns over long time periods. Second, and more relevant to this situation, stocks are highly liquid investments. In other words, if you need to sell your stocks and get your money, you can do so with the click of a mouse or tap of your phone screen at any time during market hours.

As Mnuchin put it, "Americans should know we are going to do everything to make sure that they have access to the money in their banks, to the money in their 401(k)s and to money in stocks."

Having ongoing liquidity in the stock market is one thing Americans had been rather uncertain about for the past week or so. Mnuchin's comments help reassure investors that while there's quite a bit to legitimately be worried about right now, the closure of the stock market isn't being considered.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/25/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.