USA stocks open with gains for second straight day

USA stocks open with gains for second straight day

USA stocks open with gains for second straight day

In Europe markets closed higher as Britain's FTSE-100 gained 1%, France's CAC-40 jumped 5.39% and Germany's DAX rose 4.33%. NY and California imposed strict restrictions to keep people at home to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The S&P 500 lost 4.34 percent. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average suffered their biggest weekly declines since 2008.

The Nasdaq fell 995.36 points, or 12.6%.

Among the other factors weighing down the market once again Friday afternoon were a stay-at-home order for New York State, a swift reversal in crude prices and a strengthening dollar. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 1.03% from 1.12% late Thursday.

Members of President Donald Trump's economic team were convening Friday on Capitol Hill to launch negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats racing to draft a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The 30-stock index remained 32% below its all-time high level from February, while the S&P 500 was 29% below its high.

Friday's selling accelerated after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered that most workers stay home.

Thursday's trading session delivered a slight respite to investors after three days of brutal double-digit declines that have hammered media giants that are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus-related disruptions. Layoffs are surging as businesses scale back or temporarily shutter operations.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced earlier this week that it saw 281,000 seasonally adjusted unemployment claims during the week ending March 14, the highest reported since September 2017.

Numerous industries hardest hit by the virus - tourism, restaurants and retail, for example - employ large numbers of wage earners who now face reduced hours or layoffs. Bank of America's chief economist Michelle Meyer told clients earlier that day that "jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed", and warned that the United States economy may contract by 12 percent in the second quarter of 2020.

The US Federal Reserve has unleashed a slew of emergency measures over the past two weeks including lowering its benchmark interest rate to near zero and other crisis moves to unfreeze credit markets.

Also on Friday, Illinois and NY state joined California in ordering all residents to stay in their homes unless they have vital reasons to go out, undertaking the most sweeping efforts yet in the contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The White House is working towards finalizing the details of a potential $1 trillion stimulus package to prop up the U.S. economy, while the Federal Reserve has introduced many emergency measures from its toolkit to provide liquidity to markets reeling from the pandemic.

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