Rescue plan hopes propel Dow to best percentage gains since 1933

Business | 25 Mar 2020 9:51 am

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to its best day since 1933 as Congress and the White House neared a deal on Tuesday to inject nearly US$2 trillion of aid into an economy ravaged by the coronavirus.

The Dow burst 11.4 percent higher, while the more closely followed S&P 500 index leapt by 9.4 percent as a wave of buying around the world interrupted what has been a brutal month of nearly nonstop selling. Investors released some frustration that had pent up over days of watching the Senate stalemate over the crucial rescue package.

Despite the gains, investors were far from saying markets have hit bottom. Rallies nearly as big as this have punctuated the last few weeks, and none lasted more than a day. Economists and investors alike are still expecting to see some dire economic numbers in the days and weeks ahead.

Both Democrats and Republicans said Tuesday they are close to agreeing on a massive economic rescue package, which will include payments to U.S. households and aid for small businesses and the travel industry, among other things. A vote in the Senate could come later Tuesday or Wednesday.

Investors were imploring Congress to act, particularly as the Federal Reserve has done nearly all it can to sustain markets, including its latest round of extraordinary aid launched Monday.

The Dow gained by  2,112.98 points, its biggest point gain in history, at 20,704.91. It

The S&P 500, which is much more important to most 401(k) accounts, added 209.93, or 9.4 percent, at 2,447.33 for its third-biggest percentage gain since World War II. The Nasdaq composite jumped by 557.18 points, or 8.1 percent, at 7,417.86.-AP


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