The Dow and the S&P 500 closed in the positive territory on Wednesday as investors remained hopeful that the U.S. Senate will pass a $2 trillion economic rescue package to boost beaten-down stocks. However, the Nasdaq failed to end in the green as the rescue package appeared to hit a stumbling block in the final minutes of trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 495.64 points or 2.4%, to close at 21,200.55 and the S&P 500 rose 28.23 points or 1.2% to close at of 2,475.56. While, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,384.30, losing 33.56 points, or 0.5%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 3.7%, to close at 63.95. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for a 6-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored advancers.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 registered its first consecutive gains since Feb12, while the Dow marked its first successive gains since Feb 6. The Dow was boosted by The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) gain of 24.3% and NIKE, Inc. (NKE - Free Report) gain of 9.2%. However, the blue-chip index lost about 500 points in the final 30 minutes of trading on fears the agreement was hitting a snag.
Overall, the S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and four new lows. Meanwhile, Nasdaq recorded three new highs and 41 new lows.
Fiscal Stimulus Package Expectation Lifted Stocks
On Wednesday, investors remained hopeful on progress of U.S. fiscal stimulus package that could provide relief to beaten-down businesses. At the day’s session high, the Dow was up more than 6% while the S&P 500 gained as much as 5.1%. The stimulus measure could provide equities tailwind and support businesses and households affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill is expected to provide $1,200 direct payments to U.S. citizens and offer nearly $360 billion in loans to small businesses. At the same time nearly $500 billion fund will be allotted to distressed firms, along with increase in unemployment insurance benefit and additional resources for health-care providers.
Hopes of the fiscal stimulus packed helped sectors like airlines and cruises, which were among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, gain traction on Wednesday. Shares of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL - Free Report) rose 15.7%, while Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Free Report) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH - Free Report) rose nearly 24%.
Delta Air Lines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stocks that Made Headline
Micron's Q2 Earnings Beat Estimates, Q3 Guidance Solid
Despite the business disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Micron (MU - Free Report) reported stronger-than-anticipated results for second-quarter fiscal 2020 on Mar 25. (Read More)
HP Comes to Coronavirus Rescue With 3D Printed Gears
HP Inc. (HPQ - Free Report) is focusing on enhancing its 3D printing business capabilities in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which has gripped the world currently. (Read More)
Nabors Stock Tumbles on Dividend Suspension, Capex Cuts
Shares of Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR - Free Report) declined more than 20% on Wednesday after the company suspended its dividend and cut 2020 spending budget following a dip in oil prices. (Read More)
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