The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 390.75 points, or 1.6%, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index also trading higher by 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively. The Dow had surged above 1,000 points after the market open but those gains gradually dissipated as trading progressed.
Technology, financial, and consumer discretionary were among the biggest gainers with investors rotating out of consumer staples and utilities.
The US 10-year yield climbed by 11.4 basis points to 0.61%, retreating from a much higher level earlier in the session.
After signing off on an $8.3 billion package to fight the spread of the coronavirus last month, President Donald Trump said on Monday in media briefings that he was looking at a "possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief, very substantial relief" as a "timely and effective response to coronavirus."
On Tuesday Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province where coronavirus initially broke out, for the first time since the epidemic emerged, boosting investor sentiment as the infection rate in China has been slowing. In the US, however, concern has reportedly mounted over allegations of under-testing and doubts over the availability of kits in as many quantities as required in all parts of the country.
West Texas Intermediate futures that had earlier surged by about 10% but also gave up gains to trade 6.4% higher even as Saudi Aramco, a petroleum and natural gas company, said it will supply 12.3 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, an increase of 300,000 barrels per day over the firm's maximum sustained capacity of 12 million barrels per day.
The company said that it had agreed with its customers to provide them with "such volumes starting April 1," a signal to Russia that Saudi Arabia was prepared to take it on in a full-blown price war.
Shares of Occidental Petroleum (OXY) surged by 9.6%, among the top gainers on the S&P 500, after its board approved a cut to its dividend to $0.11 per share from $0.79 per share, effective July 2020. The firm will also slash 2020 capital spending to between $3.5 billion and $3.7 billion, from $5.2 billion to $5.4 billion while implementing additional cost cuts after the steepest plunge in oil prices on Monday since 1991.
MGM Resorts (MGM) was the top gainer on S&P 500, up by more than 12% intraday, with a regulatory filing showing its CEO James Stewart purchased 1,500 shares, increasing the number of securities beneficially owned under direct ownership by him to 54,830 at a time when the company's shares have been hit by the global spread of the coronavirus.
Crude was up $2.47 to $33.60 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.12 to $1.90 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $20.80 to $1,654.90 an ounce, and silver down $0.17 to $16.88 an ounce. Copper was up $0.01 to $2.52 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 8.6% to $7.08 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 4.6% to $14.75. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.3% to $27.16 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 1.3% to $155.77. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.6% to $15.78.
Here's where the markets stood at midday:
NYSE Composite Index was up 96.68 points (+0.9%) to 11,395.12
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 390.75 points (+1.6%) to 24,194.67
S&P 500 was up 42.42 points (+1.5%) at 2,787.57
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 138.52 points (+1.8%) to 8,099.70
FTSE 100 fell by 5.54 points (-0.1%) to 5,960.23
DAX was down 149.53 points (-1.4%) to 10,475.49
CAC 40 was down 71.30 points (-1.5%) to 4,636.61
Nikkei was up 168.36 points (+0.85%) to 19,867.12
HSI was up 352.05 points (+1.4%) to 25,392.51
Shanghai Comp was up 53.47 points (+1.8%) to 2,996.76
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 73.83 points (+1.3%) to 5,882.54
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 109.41 points (+1.6%) to 6,851.67
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 166.68 points (+1%) to 16,377.22
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(-) OIS (-21%) Raymond James cuts stock to market perform from strong buy
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