Published: Thu, March 26, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

USA stocks end mixed amid anticipation of stimulus package

USA stocks end mixed amid anticipation of stimulus package

Although markets finished in the green for the second day in a row, the triumphant move higher was stymied by an argument over the specifics of the stimulus package waiting to be voted on by the Senate.

GOP Senators Tim Scott, Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham demanded changes, saying the legislation as written "incentivizes layoffs" and should be altered to ensure employees don't earn more money if they're laid off than if they're working. In a statement, he said he is "prepared to put a hold on this bill" to lobby for more rigorous restrictions on companies receiving aid from a taxpayer pool of $500 billion.

At 04:44 GMT, the benchmark June E-mini S&P 500 Index is trading 2389.00, down 49.00 or -2.01%.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday, "Let's just make sure we make people whole".

The NASDAQ finished a topsy-turvy session down 33.56 points to 7,384.29, as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all closed lower. Overall, more than 111,000 have recovered. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

But market observers say the virus will remain a threat to the economy and the stock market as long as it continues to spread in the U.S. even despite Congress's enormous effort to stanch the bleeding.

Economists expect a report Thursday to show a record number of Americans filed for unemployment benefits.

Wall Street had another rare positive session on Wednesday, with key indices posting their second consecutive day of gains amid expectations government stimulus to fight the coronavirus outbreak is coming soon.

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The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and one new low, while the Nasdaq logged two new highs and 36 new lows.

Powering the Dow's gains was Boeing Co BA.N , which jumped 13.90% after Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said the planemaker expected the 737 MAX jet to return to service by mid-year. Other travel-related stocks also stormed higher to recoup a fraction of their losses.

Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings each rallied by about 23 percent.

Prices have swung wildly as business shutdowns spread around the world.

Nike climbed almost 9.2% after it said stronger online sales in China during the coronavirus outbreak helped it offset plunges in revenue caused by the shutdown of stores across the country. It also said sales are bouncing back in China, where the outbreak has eased and most Nike stores have reopened.

European markets initially jumped to strong gains, but they faded as the day progressed. France's CAC 40 rose 4.5% and Germany's DAX rose 1.8%.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 2.88 per cent and emerging market stocks rose 4.40 per cent.

Boeing, once a symbol of US manufacturing strength, jumped 17% after Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun said the company still expected a "mid-year" return to service of the 737 MAX aircraft.

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