Stocks in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) roared on March 26 for its third-day winning streak, even after a report of 3.28 million people filing for unemployment benefits, dramatically increased from 281,000 a week ago.
Dow Jones jumped 1,351.62 points or 6.38% to close at 22,552.17 points. S&P 500 soared 6.24% and Nasdaq rose 5.60%. Boeing, Chevron and Walgreens were the main drive in the Dow’s gains, with each stock rising more than 10%. Meanwhile, S&P 500 was buoyed by utilities and real estate where both industries closed more than 7% in positive territory. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet all rose more than 4%.
However, worries over the current economy still reflected in other indexes such as crude oil prices and gold. Last night, WTI crude futures plunged 7.7% or $1.89 to $22.60/bbl. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures dipped $1.01 or 3.69% to $26.43/bbl. Oil prices continued to plummet as demand slumps amid the virus outbreak. Gold Comex rose $17.80/ounce to 1,651.20.
Still, the stock markets eased up after the announcement as the figure, though alarmingly high, was lower than the worse forecast from some economists that expected 4-4.4 million of unemployment. More importantly, the $2 trillion stimulus plan to help those impacted by the outbreak is right around the corner.
“The good thing about this bill is the president is protecting those people, so you know now with these plans, small businesses hopefully will be able to hire back a lot of those people. Last week they didn’t know if they had protections. They didn’t have any cash; they had no choice. Now with this bill passed by [the Senate], there are protections. And as I said, hopefully those workers will be rehired but between these three programs, it protects all of American workers. And by the way, lots of big companies do continue to hire for obviously grocery stores, pharmacies, delivery services, these companies are on overtime. So, I know they’re hiring people as fast as they can,” stated the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the benefits of the bill.
However, the amount provided by the government was not unlimited and will run out at some point if the coronavirus outbreak continues further. Just last night, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. had topped every country in the world with 82,000 infected and more than 1,200 deaths.
“Any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the capacity of the healthcare system,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference while projected a shortfall in ventilators that were required to support the patient’s respiration. “It’s not like they have them sitting in the warehouse…..there is no stockpile available,” said Cuomo.
Without the healthcare system like ventilators, patients with severe conditions could die. Which is why the state has begun a trial of sharing one ventilator between two patients.