Stocks – Wall Street Pauses for Breath at Open After Epic Rally
Investing.com — U.S. stocks paused for breath on Wednesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest one-day gain since 1933 on Tuesday in anticipation of a $2 trillion stimulus package from Congress.
The Senate is due to vote later Wednesday on the package, the biggest ever in American history, which was agreed in principle between the two parties late on Tuesday. The bill will still have to pass the House of Representatives.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up a relatively modest 235 points, or 1.1%, at 20,940 points but quickly reversed to be down 0.3%, or 52 points by 10:05 AM ET (1405 GMT). The S&P 500 likewise extended early losses to be down 0.8% while the NASDAQ Composite was down 1.2%.
Momentum appeared to be weakening as investors prepared for what could be the worst-ever single-week rise in U.S. jobless claims on Thursday, with over 2 million new claims expected by a number of analysts.
Stocks have also taken heart from President Donald Trump’s desire to end the current wave of lockdowns across the U.S. as soon as possible. Trump said late on Tuesday that he aimed to have the economy back as close as possible to normal by Easter, which falls on April 12 this year.
That’s despite the fact that the incidence of new infections and of fatalities shows no sign of slowing down yet. Data from Johns Hopkins put the number of infections in the U.S. at 55,000, already far ahead of China on a per capita basis.
Among the most active stocks were Boeing and airlines, who are likely to be first in line for federal aid under the new stimulus package. Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock was up 12.3%, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) stock was up 6.1% and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) was up 4.6% – all three of them paring gains from premarket indications.
Target (NYSE:TGT) stock was down 7.6% after warning that the Covid-19 outbreak was hurting sales of higher-margin discretionary goods, and also of higher operating costs for staffing and cleaning stores.
Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) stock was down 2.0% after the oil producer cut wages for its staff by 30% and cut management salaries by over 80% in a further attempt to conserve cash through the downturn in oil prices.