Stocks surge again after relief bill passed; indexes up 6% – By Alex Veiga, Stan Choe and Damian J. Troise (Associated Press) / March 26 2020
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks marched higher for a third straight day Thursday as a massive coronavirus relief bill moved closer to passing Congress and Wall Street took some historically bad unemployment figures in stride.
The S&P 500 rose 6.2%, bringing its three-day rally to 17.6%. The Dow industrials have risen an even steeper 21.3% since Monday.
Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, easily shattering the prior record set in 1982, as layoffs and business shutdowns sweep across the country.
The market shot higher Thursday because Wall Street knew the bad news on unemployment was coming, analysts said, and the Senate finally passed a $2.2 trillion economic aid package as part of an astonishing amount of support being pushed into the economy by politicians and the Federal Reserve.
“There is no sugar coating these numbers — they are bad,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group. “Markets have had several days to digest what everyone knew was coming; therefore, the market response to these numbers may differ than what people might expect.”
Despite the big gains, the S&P 500 remains 22% below its February high and analysts expect more dire economic headlines, and market turbulence, in the days ahead.