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On The Money: Biden extends eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance | Stocks hit record highs on Biden's first day as president | Justice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr

On The Money: Biden extends eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance | Stocks hit record highs on Biden's first day as president | Justice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to the first On The Money of Joe Biden's presidency. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

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.

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THE BIG DEAL—Biden extends eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance: President Joe Biden signed executive orders Wednesday afternoon following his inauguration extending an evictions moratorium and forbearance on student loans, both efforts to provide economic relief in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

  • Biden will call on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to extend an evictions moratorium set to expire on Jan. 31 until the end of February.
  • Biden is also set to direct several agencies that cover mortgages to extend their own bans on evictions from properties their agencies back and continue accepting forbearance applications for mortgage-holders.
  • On student loans, Biden will extend the Education Department's forbearance policy until Sept. 30, meaning borrowers can continue to put off paying both principal and interest on direct federal loans.

The Hill’s Niv Elis broke down Biden’s new orders here.

LEADING THE DAY

Stocks close at record highs on first day of Biden presidency: The stock market rallied on the first day of President BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it MORE's term, pushing three major U.S. indexes to new records.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 257 points to finish Wednesday at a record high close of 31,188. 
  • The S&P 500 finished Wednesday with a 1.4 percent gain and set a new intraday record at 3,859 points, and the Nasdaq rose 2 percent to close at a record 13,457.25.

While the stock market is driven by innumerable forces, Wednesday’s rally is the latest sign of Wall Street optimism that more economic relief and vaccine distribution funding could be on the way soon from the Biden administration.

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Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion bill to bolster vaccine distribution, fund other aspects of pandemic response, and provide more aid to a struggling U.S. economy. While the U.S. has recovered quicker than many economists have expected, the country lost jobs in December for the first time since April, and many of those who’ve yet to find work since then are in deep financial peril. I have more here.

Justice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr without charges: The Justice Department has closed its months-long insider trading investigation involving Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrRick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-N.C.) without charges.

Burr said in a statement that the department informed him of the decision on Tuesday, saying, "The case is now closed."

"I’m glad to hear it. My focus has been and will continue to be working for the people of North Carolina during this difficult time for our nation," the senator added.

  • The decision to close Burr's case comes after months of scrutiny about stock sales the GOP senator made during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • ProPublica reported in March that Burr offloaded between $582,029 and $1.56 million of stock on Feb. 13 in almost 30 different transactions, weeks before the stock market tumbled as the coronavirus spread.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney fills us in here.

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Consumer bureau director resigns after Biden's inauguration: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger resigned Wednesday at the request of the newly sworn-in President Biden, clearing the way for his nominee to lead the powerful regulatory agency.

Kraninger, a Republican appointed by former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE, announced her departure via Twitter roughly an hour after Biden was inaugurated as the 46th U.S. president. 

“I support the Constitutional prerogative of the President to appoint senior officials within the government who support the President’s policy priorities, which ensures our government is responsive to the will of the people as expressed in presidential elections,” Kraninger wrote.

I have more here.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • In his final hours as president, Donald Trump lifted a 10 percent tariff on aluminum from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Former President Trump's personal lawyers requested that a federal judge schedule a teleconference to discuss how a lawsuit about House Democrats' request for Trump's tax returns will proceed during the new administration and Congress.
  • Lobbyists saw major growth in 2020, which was an unprecedented year for advocacy as companies, trade associations and local governments relied on K Street for coronavirus relief amid a fierce presidential campaign. 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Grocery store chain LIDL announced Wednesday that it will give employees paid time off and adjust its employees’ schedules in order for them to get the coronavirus vaccine
  • Amazon sent a letter to President Biden in his first hours of office Wednesday offering to assist the new administration with its coronavirus vaccine distribution