The US equity market finished higher for straight second day on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, as Senate members and lawmakers from the White House administration reached agreement over a $2 trillion stimulus package to help counter the economic damage spawned by the coronavirus pandemic, which eased investors' fears. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 495.64 points, or 2.4%, to 21,200.55. The S&P 500 rose 28.23 points, or 1.2%, to 2,475.56.
The Nasdaq Composite turned negative, finishing down 33.56 points, or 0.5%, at 7,384.30.
The White House and Senate leaders announced an agreement on the aid bill early Wednesday following days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure, as investors have worried about the depth of the coming recession and the rising death toll from the world-wide coronavirus pandemic that has infected 425,000 people and killed more than 20,000, as of Wednesday. It still needs to be finalized in detailed legislative language but would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home. Pressure was on Congress to act after the Federal Reserve has done nearly all it can to sustain markets.
Crude oil rose, with the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 48 cents, or 2%, at $24.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In precious metals, April gold settled 1.7% lower at $1,633.40 an ounce, a day after surging 6%.
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