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- US stocks climbed on Wednesday as the Senate moved toward a final vote on a $2 trillion relief package to aid the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
- The White House and the Senate reached an agreement overnight on the package, but a final vote is pending.
- The bill includes payments for Americans, unemployment-benefit expansions, and loans for businesses hit by the economic slump.
- The gains followed the Dow Jones industrial average’s best day since 1933. The benchmark index soared 11% in Tuesday’s session as investors bet on a near-term deal for fresh fiscal stimulus.
- Watch major indexes update live here.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed on Wednesday as the Senate moved toward a final vote on a $2 trillion relief package to aid the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
The White House and the Senate reached an agreement overnight on the bill. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite slid slightly on the day.
The package would expand unemployment benefits, push funds to hospitals and healthcare workers, issue emergency loans to both small and large businesses, and send checks to Americans; the bill calls for $1,200 payments for adults and $500 for each child.
About $50 billion is allocated for loans for airlines, an industry hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the sudden halt to travel.
Here’s where the major US indexes stood at the market close on Wednesday:
- S&P 500: 2,475.56, up 1.2%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 21,200.55, up 2.4% (496 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 7,384.29, down 0.5%
The gains followed the Dow’s best day in 87 years. The benchmark index soared 11% through Tuesday’s session as a fiscal deal neared. The Federal Reserve had already issued monetary support through rate cuts, asset purchases, and new credit facilities.
The Senate stimulus package would more directly put money in the hands of ailing businesses and consumers as the outbreak risks near-term economic recession.
“Despite the mammoth amount of stimulus slated to enter the economy, strict containment measures are the best bet for stabilizing markets,” Jeffrey Bergstrand, a finance professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, told Markets Insider in an email.
President Donald Trump’s Tuesday call to reopen the economy by Easter added fresh worry as US cases increased. The lack of unified shelter-in-place mandates “will cause uncertainty to rise again” and risks “stifling a possible recovery,” Bergstrand said.
Oil traded higher on Wednesday morning after turning lower in the previous session. The commodity has been under pressure in recent weeks as Saudi Arabia and Russia flood the market with fresh inventory and drive prices near two-decade lows.
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