'A real step forward': Stocks climb after lawmakers agree $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus
Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Spencer Platt / Getty Images
- Stocks climbed on Wednesday after US lawmakers agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to buttress the US economy against the novel coronavirus.
- The Senate plans to provide around $500 billion in loans and other help to companies and state and local governments, $350 billion to small businesses, and $150 billion to hospitals and other healthcare providers, Bloomberg reported.
- The proposed legislation would also deliver $1,200 checks to lower- and middle-income American adults and $500 for each of their children, and bolster, expand, and extend the duration of unemployment insurance, Bloomberg said.
- "The agreement signed overnight in Congress is a real step forward for the US economy in the fight against the virus," one analyst said.
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Global stocks rose on Wednesday after US lawmakers reached terms on a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to shore up the US economy against the novel coronavirus pandemic. The gains followed a historic rally on Tuesday, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average surge more than 11% - its biggest percentage gain since 1933.The Senate is set to vote on a bill that would provide around $500 billion in loans and other assistance to companies and state and local governments, grant north of $350 billion in aid to small businesses, and earmark $150 billion for hospitals and other healthcare providers, according to Bloomberg.
The bill is also set to ban companies that receive bailouts from buying back their shares, place limits on their executive bonuses, and impose requirements for worker protections, Bloomberg said. A new Treasury inspector general would supervise distribution of the funds, and senior officials including President Donald Trump and his family wouldn't be eligible, Bloomberg reported."To all Americans I say: Help is on the way, big help and quick help," said Chuck Schumer, the Senate's minority leader, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Market commentators cheered the agreement but remained wary of the risks."The agreement signed overnight in Congress is a real step forward for the US economy in the fight against the virus," Brian Kloss, manager of the Legg Mason Brandywine Global Income Optimiser fund, said in a morning note."The question is whether it's enough for the markets," he added.
The recent progress "could easily go pear shaped" if authorities fail to contain the coronavirus, or the stimulus isn't sufficient to give the economy "a shot in the arm after being laid comatose in lockdown," Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, said in a morning note.
Here's the market roundup as of 10 a.m. in London (6 a.m. ET):
- European equities climbed, with Germany's DAX up 1.8%, Britain's FTSE 100 up 2.8%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 up 1.3%.
- Asian indexes rose, with China's Shanghai Composite up 2.2%, Japan's Nikkei up 8.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 3.8%, and South Korea's KOSPI up 5.9%.
- US stocks are set to open higher. Futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were up between 1.4% and 2.9%.
- Oil prices were mixed, with West Texas Intermediate up 1.1% at $24.30 a barrel, and Brent crude down 0.6% at about $27.
- The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield inched up to around 0.86%.
- Gold slid 0.1% to $1,659.
- Bitcoin rose about 2% to over $6,900.
- DMRC closed entry and exit gates of yellow, green, violet and blue lines in surge of farmers protest
- Delhi Police fires tear-gas shells on farmers near Akshardham temple and Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar
- Protesting farmers break barricades at Delhi borders, entering the national capital ahead of time
- BJD chalks out issues for upcoming budget session of Parliament
- Farmer unions now announce plan to march towards Parliament on Budget day