US Stocks rally despite record unemployment claims

The US equity market finished higher for third straight day on Thursday, 26 March 2020, on the back of better than expected U. S. jobless claims data and after the U. S. Senate finally voted to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1,351.62 points, or 6.38%, to 22,552.17. The S&P 500 advanced 154.51 points, or 6.24%, to 2,630.07. The Nasdaq Composite grew 413.24 points, or 5.6%, at 7,797.54.

The rally on Wall Street came even though the Labor Department released a report before the start of trading showing first-time claims for unemployment benefits soared last week, as large swaths of the U.

S. economy were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to 3.28 million last week, lower than economists expectation of as high as 4 million, as state-wide lockdowns brought the U. S. economy to a halt and unleashed a wave of layoffs.

Adding to sentiment was news that the Senate finally voted to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It would flood the country with cash in an effort to stem the crushing economic impact of an intensifying pandemic that has killed about 1,000 and infected nearly 70,000 people in the United States.

Further, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank stood ready to act aggressively to shore up credit in the market on top of the unprecedented policy easing announced on Monday.

Utilities stocks turned in some of the market’s best performances. Substantial strength was also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 8.1% jump by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index. Banking stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 8.1%. Commercial real estate, telecom, health care and semiconductor stocks also showed significant moves to the upside amid broad based buying interest.

United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta rose between 7% and 13%, while Boeing rose 15% to build on a strong rally this week, boosted by a $58 billion provision for the aerospace industry in the latest aid bill.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 27 2020. 09:51 IST

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