Stocks surge as Fed rolls out $2.3T lending program

U.S. equity markets surged Thursday morning after the Federal Reserve’s plan to provide $2.3 trillion in lending to households and businesses overshadowed a surge in jobless claims.

The Fed’s initiative undergirds government efforts to combat fallout from the economic shutdown imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Traders were also awaiting the outcome of a virtual meeting between Russia, Saudi Arabia and other key oil players on curbing output to boost prices that cratered amid a price war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 275 points, or 1.1 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were higher by 1.2 percent and 0.18 percent, respectively. The benchmark S&P 500 on Wednesday exited its bear market that began on March 12, making it the second shortest in history.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES23794.93+361.36+1.54%
SP500S&P 5002782.54+32.56+1.18%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8101.567017+10.66+0.13%

Thursday’s gains were hampered by initial jobless claims totaling 6.6 million for the week ended April 4, outpacing the 5.25 million that economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. The report raises the total number of first-time filings to 16.6 million amid disruptions including factory idlings and store closings caused by COVID-19.

Oil rallied after a Reuters report said Russia and Saudi Arabia have settled their biggest disagreements over a production cut, paving the way for a deal that could reduce output by as much as 20 million barrels per day. West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, was up 8.01 percent at $27.10 a barrel, giving a lift to shares of energy companies.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION45.23+1.38+3.15%
CVXCHEVRON CORP.86.35+0.37+0.43%
EOGEOG RESOURCES43.95-1.34-2.97%

Disney announced the number of subscribers for its streaming service, Disney+, has nearly doubled since the beginning of February to more than 50 million. Rival Netflix has more than 160 million subscribers.

Costco reported sales rose 11.7 percent to $15.5 billion in the five weeks through April 5.

General Electric told investors its first-quarter results would fall short of its prior guidance and pulled its full-year outlook due to uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

Starbucks warned late Wednesday that it sees second-quarter adjusted earnings falling 46 percent to 32 cents a share. The coffee giant said same-store sales plunged by as much as 70 percent during the last week of March as COVID-19-related shutdowns spread.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY105.07+4.00+3.96%
COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION299.42-6.55-2.14%
GEGENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY7.27-0.03-0.41%
SBUXSTARBUCKS CORPORATION71.89+0.33+0.45%

Carnival Corp. gained for a fourth straight day after Saudi Arabia announced an 8 percent stake in the embattled cruise operator.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.13.11+1.12+9.34%
RCLROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES41.94+4.38+11.66%
NCLHNORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.13.61+1.89+16.08%

U.S. Treasurys rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down by 2.4 basis points to 0.742 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE and Germany’s DAX rose 1 percent and 0.37 percent, respectively, while France’s CAC inched up 0.08 percent.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.38 percent after the government announced an $18.8 billion stimulus package.  Elsewhere, China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.37 percent and Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.04 percent.

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