FILE - A sign for Wall Street is seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York City, Jan. 31, 2020.
FILE - A sign for Wall Street is seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York City, Jan. 31, 2020.

U.S. stocks rose by 3.4% Wednesday afternoon with investors encouraged by the Trump administration’s plans for rebooting the U.S. economy and a Federal Reserve action, as well as Bernie Sanders’ decision to end his presidential bid. Sanders had promised to impose higher taxes on big corporations if he were elected. His plans for universal health coverage also raised fears of extra regulatory costs and smaller profits.  

All the major market indexes also were up at the closing bell in New York Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 779.71 points or 3.44 % to finish at 23,433.57.

The S&P 500 was up by 90.57 points or 3.40 % to end at 2,749.98 and the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 203.64 points or 2.58% to close at 8,090.90.

But European markets were down after two days of gains, following a surge of COVID-19 deaths in France, Britain, Japan, the United States and other countries on Tuesday.

France’s central bank said its economy entered a recession with a 6% drop in the first three months of the year.

Britain’s FTSE, the CAC-40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt were all trending down over 1% by late Wednesday afternoon.  Asia had a mixed trading day, which ended with losses in Australia, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 2% higher.

Oil prices were slightly up ahead of the OPEC meeting on Thursday where investors hope that major oil producers will agree to cut output.  

But the U.S. car industry is in trouble. Fewer cars will be built than at any time since World War II.  U.S. car makers have sold more than 17 million vehicles for the last five years. New car sales are predicted to fall more than 50% in the second quarter despite attractive offers from automakers, such as interest-free loans and no payments for up to six months. 
 

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