BUSINESS US stocks surge amid stimulus hopes


US stocks surge amid stimulus hopes


02:57, March 25, 2020


In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, Chief Security Officer Kevin Fitzgibbons rings the opening bell of the NYSE on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Photo: AP)

NEW YORK, March 24 (Xinhua) -- US equities traded sharply higher at midday Tuesday with the Dow soaring more than 1,600 points, as market comeback accelerated on Wall Street amid stimulus hopes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1,662.02 points, or 8.94 percent, to 20,253.95. The S&P 500 jumped 174.84 points, or 7.81 percent, to 2,412.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 463.03 points, or 6.75 percent, to 7,323.70.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors rallied, with energy up more than 12 percent around midday, outpacing the rest.

Investors hoped US lawmakers were close to an agreement on a massive economic relief package to cushion the damage by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wall Street sank on Monday with the Dow down nearly 600 points, as the rapidly rising number of coronavirus cases in the United States overshadowed the Federal Reserve's aggressive efforts.

The US central bank announced Monday morning that it will purchase US treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities with no limit, to help markets function more efficiently amid coronavirus uncertainty.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 40,000 on Monday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

On the data front, US private sector firms indicated a marked contraction in overall business activity in March following the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Flash US Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) registered 39.1 at the end of the first quarter, down from 49.4 in February, London-based global information provider IHS Markit reported on Tuesday.

IHS Markit Flash US Manufacturing PMI fell from 50.7 in February to 49.2 at the end of the first quarter.

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