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US stocks open higher as markets gird for volatility

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AFP New York
Wall Street stocks rose early Monday to open what was expected to be a volatile trading week as markets weighed the economic toll of the coronavirus against emergency government spending.
About 30 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 21,661.56, up 0.1 percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to 2,562.47, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.2 percent to 7,591.41.
Last week, the Dow experienced its biggest weekly gain since 1931, rallying after a series of blistering routs caused by the shutdown of economic activity in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Those gains have sparked speculation over whether the market has bottomed out, a discussion that depends on how investors assess the risk of a lengthy shuttering of the US economy.
On Sunday, US President Donald Trump extended emergency coronavirus restrictions until April 30. Trump had previously discussed a goal of restarting the US economy by mid-April.
A note from IHS Markit Monday significantly lowered its forecast for the US economy, projecting a contraction of 5.4 percent in 2020.
"The risks remain overwhelmingly on the downside and further downgrades are almost assured," IHS said.

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First Published: Mar 30 2020 | 8:02 PM IST

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