US stocks surged into the close to end a volatile session on Tuesday.
Sharp mid-day fluctuations came as investors weighed the possible timing of a government stimulus package designed to boost US economic activity amid the coronavirus outbreak. A rally in the final hour came after a rough period that saw all major indexes erase gains and turn negative.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 1,167 points, or 4.9%, near intraday highs. The S&P 500 also climbed 4.9% on the day.
Investor sentiment was buoyed by reports that President Donald Trump is discussing stimulus, including a potential payroll-tax cut designed to help the US economy. Afternoon gains were stoked by reports that Trump told Republican senators that he wants to cut payroll taxes through the election in November.
The president had promised on Monday that the White House would unveil a major plan to combat the blow of the coronavirus outbreak, although specifics are still being worked out.
Here’s where major US indexes stood as of the market close on Tuesday:
“It’s March madness at the moment, complete with surprising losses, upsets, and comebacks,” Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, said in an email Tuesday. “It’s impossible to know when the markets will hit bottom, and any bad or uncertain news could send us back into a tailspin.”
Global markets also got a reprieve from the oil-price war between former allies Russia and Saudi Arabia. While both nations have pledged to boost output, Russia said on Tuesday that it was open to rekindling cooperative efforts with OPEC+.
Crude oil, fresh off its biggest single-day plunge since the Gulf War in 1991 — 31% at its intraday low — rebounded as much as 11% on Tuesday and ended the day roughly 10% higher.
The jump in oil prices is “not a clear signal just yet,” Collin Martin, fixed income strategist with the Schwab Center for Financial Research, told Markets Insider in an interview. Low oil prices for an extended period of time will be “very challenging for energy companies, especially the highly leveraged ones,” he said.
Investors should remain “rational, disciplined, and unemotional” while navigating current market swings, Dev Kantesaria, managing partner at Valley Forge Capital Management, told Markets Insider in a note.
“We are fortunate to have a recent example — the 2008-2009 financial crisis,” he said. “The impressive rebound in public equities over the last decade should be a lesson to those worried about where share prices will be next month or next quarter.”
– Business Insider