Benchmarks ended in the green on Thursday, as investors rejoiced the overnight passage of a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill by the Senate to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, stocks soared despite the Labor Department‘s report that unemployment claims jumped to a record 3.28 million last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 1,351.62 points, or 6.4%, to close at 22,552.17 and the S&P 500 rose 154.51 points, 6.24% to close at of 2,630.07. While, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,797.5, added 413.24 points or 5.6%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 4.6%, to close at 61.00. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for a 5.15-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.71-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored advancers.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The DOW made its strongest three-day percentage increase since 1931, finishing 21% above its Monday’s low. And, both the Dow and the S&P 500 logged a third straight day gain for the first time since mid-February, when the coronavirus fear halted the Wall Street’s 11-year bull market. Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, the utilities sectors emerged as the strongest winner jumping nearly 8.4%.
Overall, the S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and no new lows. Meanwhile, Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 13 new lows.
Emergency Relief Package Approved
Stocks soared on Thursday after the Senate unanimously approved a $2 trillion economic relief package to rescue the economy from the coronavirus outbreak. The House is expected to vote on the passage of the bill on Friday, so that President Donald Trump could sign it into law by Saturday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the bill includes stimulus checks that are intended to be sent to people within three weeks. The latest aid bill also allocates a $58 billion provision for the aerospace industry. Shares of The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) jumped 13.8% after the announcement of the bill’s approval. The Boeing Company carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Initial Jobless Claims Soared
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the jobless claims soared to 3.28 million last week. The surge in jobless claim comes amid a crippling slowdown brought on by the coronavirus crisis, which has led to country wide lockdown and halted businesses, resulting in layoffs. The number blew past the Great Recession peak of 665,000 claims and also passed the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982.
Additionally, the government reported that the U.S. gross domestic product for the fourth quarter came in at 2.1%, which came in line with the consensus estimate. Also, February’s goods trade gap narrowed to $59.9 billion.
Stocks that Made Headline
NVIDIA Offers Coronavirus Researchers Free Access to GPU Tech
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) has offered its best technology to researchers, who are working to combat the coronavirus crisis. The company recently announced that coronavirus researchers would get a 90-day free access to its GPU-accelerated genome analysis toolkit — Parabricks. (Read More)
Square Updates Guidance Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Square, Inc. (SQ - Free Report) recently provided an update on first-quarter 2020 guidance. Notably, management has revised its view for the quarter due to the rampant spread of coronavirus pandemic across the globe and announcement of lockdowns in many countries. (Read More)
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