The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed on or near their session highs despite a turbulent session, with all three indexes ending about 5% higher. All sectors in the S&P 500 also ended with sizable gains, led by technology and financials, both up 6%.
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.
In other economic news, The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index rose to 104.5 in February after an increase to 104.3 in January. "February was another historically strong month for the small business economy, but it's worth noting that nearly all of the survey's responses were collected prior to the recent escalation of the coronavirus outbreak and the Federal Reserve rate cut. Business is good, but the coronavirus outbreak remains the big unknown," NFIB economist William Dunkelberg said.
Crude was up 11.2% to $34.60 per barrel. Natural gas was up 8.8% to $1.94 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down 1.6% to $1,649.00 an ounce, and silver down 0.9% to $16.91 an ounce.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 11% to $7.24 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 6.2% to $14.97. Among precious-metal funds, the Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.7% to $27.49 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 2.1% to $154.48. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.9% to $15.73.
NYSE Composite Index was up 494.84 points (+4.38%) to 11,793.27
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 1,167.14 points (+4.89%) to 25,018.16
S&P 500 was up 135.67 points (+4.94%) at 2,882.23
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 393.58 points (+4.95%) to 8,344.25
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 225 was up 168.36 points (+0.85%) to 19,867.12
Hang Seng was up 352.05 points (+1.4%) to 25,392.51
Shanghai Composite was up 53.47 points (+1.8%) to 2,996.76
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