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As Congress Reaches Deal on USD2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill, Stocks Open Higher

Stocks continued to rally on Wednesday 25th March, posting moderate gains following Tuesday’s historic rebound, amid news that the Trump administration has reached an agreement with lawmakers over a massive USD2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to shore up the economy.

At Wednesday’s open, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.8%, nearly 600 points, while the S&P 500 was up 1.7% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5%.

Overnight futures rallied up to 4.5% in reaction to news of a deal being struck in Congress over the USD2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, but later pared back some of those gains.

The Senate and the White House finally reached an agreement on the massive USD2 trillion economic stimulus package early on 25th March’s morning, following five days of heated negotiations and two failed votes, as the country continues to grapple with the economic fallout from coronavirus.

The agreement is the biggest economic rescue package in modern American history—dwarfing the one passed by Congress during the 2008 financial crisis (USD700 billion), and both the Senate and House are expected to pass the legislation later in the day.

Earlier reports that Congress was “very close” to a deal sent the stock market roaring back to life on Tuesday as Wall Street staged a historic comeback from its three-year lows.

Yesterday the Dow soared more than 2,100 points, or over 11%, for its biggest one-day gain since 1933, while the S&P 500 was up over 9%—its best day since 2008, and the Nasdaq gained more than 8%.

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate said that with the nation and the world in uncharted territory, elected leaders have now followed the Federal Reserve into ‘whatever it takes’ mode. He further added that Bipartisan agreement on the so-called Phase 3 measure, unprecedented in cost and scope, is most welcomed and critically important to help businesses and individuals remain solvent.

According to Bespoke Investment Group markets are still searching for equilibrium and trying to figure out when the economy will be able to reopen, and right now there is just about zero clarity on that front. President Trump indicated on March 24th that he was hoping to quickly reopen the economy, despite advice vehemently to the contrary from top health officials. He said that he would love to have it open by Easter.

Ben Bernanke, Former Federal Reserve chairman said in an interview on Wednesday March 25th that after a short recession caused by coronavirus, it is expected that rebound will be taken by U.S. economy. He praised current Fed Chair Jerome Powell for moving quickly to mitigate the economic blow from the outbreak, while adding that the current situation is also “much closer to a major snowstorm” than the Great Depression.

To regain confidence in the economy and markets, there are three primary requirements, according to Ron Temple, head of U.S. equity at Lazard Asset Management. Those include effective treatments for COVID-19; fiscal support to sustain the economy while people stay home; and monetary stimulus to keep liquidity flowing through the economy. He said that with current legislation, now they will have two of the three key ingredients to regain that necessary confidence.