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Global Markets Surge as US Agrees on Virus Rescue Deal


A man wearing a face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

A $2 trillion economic stimulus deal in Congress to help combat the effects of the coronavirus outbreak sent global markets higher Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 496 points, a 2% gain. That improvement coupled with Tuesday’s record 2,100-point surge produced the Dow’s first back-to-back days of gains in a month.

The S&P500 was up 1%, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell slightly.

News of a stimulus deal also had a positive impact in Europe, with major indexes in London and Paris 4% higher and Frankfurt closing 2% higher. Japan’s Nikkei index jumped 8%.

Uncertainty and fear about the virus and its economic toll have rattled markets for weeks, especially in the past month. Stock prices have fallen sharply, while governments and central banks have rushed to cut benchmark interest rates and inject money into national economies to support businesses and help consumers regain their economic footing.

Congress’ $2 trillion aid package for U.S. businesses and most Americans is the largest single government investment in the U.S. economy.

But some analysts are still saying the key word is “caution.” They say the markets are moving a lot faster than the fundamental U.S. economy, and no one knows where the coronavirus outbreak goes from here.

They are also keeping an eye on what they say is sure to be a surge in unemployment.