Stocks drift up and down in tentative trading on Wall Street

The Fed’s Stimulus Plans Put Bitcoin Back in the Spotlight

The Fed’s Stimulus Plans Put Bitcoin Back in the Spotlight

The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 128.56 points, or 1.73 percent, to 7,546.42.

"Global equities are clearly a better value proposition than they were a month ago, but we would exercise caution against value opportunities becoming value traps", said Tim Graf, head of Macro Strategy EMEA at State Street Global Markets.

The Dow rose 2,112.98 points, its biggest point gain in history, to 20,704.91. Both Democrats and Republicans said Tuesday they were close to agreeing on a massive economic rescue package, which will include payments to USA households and aid for small businesses and the travel industry, among other things. Normally, the S&P 500 Index moves up or down about 1% every day.

Earlier in the day, major markets in Asia closed higher, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index advancing over 8% as investors cheered the agreement between USA lawmakers and the Trump administration.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.6 percent, or around 540 points, at 21,244.77. Investors expect markets to remain volatile until the number of new cases peaks.

Congress and the White House did announce an agreement early Wednesday, and the Senate may vote on it later in the day.

In Europe markets traded higher as Britain's FTSE-100 rose 1.08%, France's CAC-40 gained 0.82% and Germany's DAX fell 0.91%. The pending legislation is likely to include direct financial payments to many Americans, as well as loans to businesses - reassuring some who have been anxious about the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The Dow is up 2,026.57 points, or 10.6%.

Tsunami warnings after magnitude 7.8 quake strikes near Russia's Kuril islands
Geological Survey said the quake struck 219 kilometres south-southeast of Severo on the Kuril chain north of Japan. National Tsunami Warning Center that said the agency is working to determine the threat.

"It's a health problem and that needs to be the primary thing the market feels has been addressed, meaning the infection rate has peaked and we get a sense of the damage done by the shut down", said Hani Redha, multiasset portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments.

The number of known infections has leaped past 450,000 people worldwide, and more than 20,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

But the market has also had a couple recent days that packed entire years' worth of losses, including two days down 10.4%.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 61 new lows.

Nike climbed almost 10 per cent after it said stronger online sales in China during the coronavirus outbreak helped it offset plunges in revenue caused by the shutdown of stores across the country. Governments and central banks in other countries around the world are unveiling unprecedented levels of support for their economies in an attempt to limit the scale of the upcoming virus-related slump.

In fact, all three main USA stock indexes jumped by more than 8%, bouncing back from another brutal selloff on Monday as the virus outbreak forced entire nations to shut down.

Markets in Europe were also choppy: the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was nearly flat after erasing a jump earlier in the day. Germany's Dax increased nearly 11%, while France's CAC 40 rose 8.4%. Asian markets rose broadly, led by an 8% jump in Japan.

On US stock markets, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and American Airlines were among the companies posting the biggest gains, rising 42% and 36% respectively.

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