Wall Street gains ahead of Senate vote on $2 trillion aid package – Reuters

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Wall Street gains ahead of Senate vote on $2 trillion aid package – Reuters

(Reuters) – Wall Street rose in choppy trading on Wednesday, building on the previous session’s gains, as the U.S. Senate neared a vote to clear a $2 trillion package to support businesses and households affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hopes of the stimulus, which followed aggressive liquidity moves by the Federal Reserve, helped the Dow Jones index .DJI post its biggest intra-day percentage jump since 1933 on Tuesday.

After seesawing in early trading, the blue-chip index added 5%, boosted by a 30.4% jump in Boeing Co (BA.N) as sources said the planemaker may restart production of 737 MAX jet by May, setting up the stock for its best day since 1981.

After losing nearly three-quarters of its value since mid February, the planemaker, once the symbol of U.S. manufacturing strength, has gained in the last three days as governments mull bailing out the aerospace industry, which is facing near collapse in demand.

But with fears of a global recession and corporate defaults running high amid a breakdown in business activity, traders said one of the biggest routs on Wall Street may not halt without evidence of a peaking in new coronavirus cases.

“This market still faces challenges from the coronavirus and its economic fallout, so there are bound to be false starts, retracements and tests,” said Rick Swope, a director at E*TRADE Financial Corp in Suwanee, Georgia.

A 9% surge for the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX had helped it recoup about $1.8 trillion in market value on Tuesday in wild swings last seen at the height of the global financial crisis.

The CBOE volatility index , while down from 12-year peaks hit last week, is still at levels far above those in 2018 and 2019.

“There is a lack of fundamental data that we rely on as equity investors to determine what prices should be,” said Sean O’Hara, president of Pacer ETFs, a division of Pacer Financial.

“The data that we don’t have is what is the impact going to be to GDP, on earnings and how many people are going to wind up losing their job.”

Data due on Thursday is likely to show U.S. weekly jobless claims surging to 1 million as companies announce layoffs and state-wide lockdowns force businesses to shutter stores.

At 1:01 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 911.00 points, or 4.40%, at 21,615.91, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 69.39 points, or 2.84%, at 2,516.72 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 94.71 points, or 1.28%, at 7,512.57.

Industrial stocks .SPLRCI, led by Boeing, were the biggest boost to the S&P 500, which is still off about $8 trillion in value from its mid February peak.

Delta Airlines (DAL.N), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL.N) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH.N), among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, jumped between 18% and 24%.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 6-to-1 on the NYSE and 2-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded three new highs and 41 new lows.

Reporting by Uday Sampath and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Arun Koyyur

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