US stock indexes have rebounded as investors bet on another round of fiscal easing to thwart a looming global recession in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
After Wall Street’s worst daily sell-off in more than three decades, indexes recouped some of their losses on optimism that US Democrats and Republicans could announce a stimulus package by Friday.
Travel stocks, which have borne the brunt of the rout, led gains, with the S&P 1500 airlines index up 3.4 per cent.
Cruise operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings advanced 6.8 per cent.
“What we’re headed for is a market that should begin to settle down (with) investors now expecting the government to get the economic plan in place and get it into law,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
Apple Inc rose 3.9 per cent as the iPhone maker said it would reopen all 42 of its branded stores in China.
The stock provided the biggest boost to the blue-chip Dow index.
All the S&P sectors firmed at least 2.0 per cent, with the heavyweight technology sector leading the gains, up 3.7 per cent.
The rate-sensitive financial sector gained 4.5 per cent.
Energy stocks rose 5.0 per cent as crude prices rebounded, after suffering their worst four-day declines on record.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge for investor anxiety, fell 3.6 points to 71.91 after its biggest-ever one-day surge in history on Thursday.
The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes, which had crashed almost 10 per cent on Thursday, are still headed for their worst week since the financial crisis.
In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 509.71 points, or 2.40 per cent, at 21,710.33, the S&P 500 was up 73.08 points, or 2.95 per cent, at 2,553.72.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 207.16 points, or 2.88 per cent, at 7,408.58.
Among other movers, software company Oracle Corp jumped 10.5 per cent after topping quarterly profit and revenue expectations and flagging a “minimal impact” from the virus outbreak on its fourth-quarter revenue.
Gap Inc climbed 8.7 per cent as it forecast 2020 profit above market expectations.
It also flagged a $US100 million ($A159 million) sales hit in Asia and Europe from the outbreak.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.72-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.41-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and 14 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded one new high and 153 new lows.
This article was produced with permission from AAP.
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