Dow soars after $2T coronavirus aid deal
U.S. equity markets gained Wednesday after lawmakers struck a deal on a $2 trillion relief measure to provide aid to those most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The historic package will “rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday. “And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 657 points, or 3.2 percent heading into the noon hour. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite were up 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
All three of the major averages had sporadically dipped into the red earlier.
Wednesday’s action comes after the blue-chip index soared more than 11 percent in the prior session, booking its biggest percentage gain in 87 years. The 2,113-point increase was the most ever in a single day.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||21728.47||+1,023.56||+4.94%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||7501.110022||+83.25||+1.12%|
Looking at stocks, airlines, cruise operators and other travel-related names that have been battered by the economic fallout from the pandemic soared in response to the stimulus package.
Cruise operator Royal Caribbean suspended voyages through May 12, expanding a stoppage that had been scheduled to conclude at the end of April.
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.||15.98||+2.06||+14.80%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HLDG.||37.78||+4.78||+14.48%|
|RCL||ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES||42.20||+7.73||+22.43%|
|EXPE||EXPEDIA GROUP, INC.||63.95||+4.47||+7.52%|
Elsewhere, Boeing spiked after a Reuters report, citing sources, said 737 Max production could restart by May after being put on hold at the beginning of the year.
Facebook shares fell after the social media giant said messaging on its platform has soared by more than 50 percent in some of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19, but that advertising revenue was down.
Big-box retailer Target pulled its financial guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year due to uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
On the earnings front, Nike reported better-than-expected quarterly results and said it was looking into making protective equipment for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients.
Kraft-Heinz shares were upgraded to “overweight” at J.P. Morgan, which said the food products producer will benefit as more Americans eat at home.
|KHC||KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY||23.64||+0.65||+2.83%|
Economic data topped estimates as February durable goods orders rose 1.2 percent, outpacing the 0.8 percent drop that economists surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating.
Heavy buying of U.S. Treasury bills pushed the yields on 1-month and 3-month maturities into negative territory while the yield on the 10-year note held near 0.82 percent.
Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was off 0.6 percent at $23.88 a barrel and gold slid 2 percent to $1,629 per ounce.
In Europe, Britain’s FTSE gained 1.4 percent and France’s CAC advanced 0.9 percent while Germany’s DAX slid 1.2 percent.
Overnight, markets rallied across Asia, with Japan’s Nikkei surging 8 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbing 3.8 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite adding 2.2 percent.