Stocks capped a wobbly day on Wall Street with solid gains Thursday, reflecting cautious optimism among investors that emergency action by the U.S. government and central banks will cushion the global economy from a looming recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The swings in the market were markedly less volatile than recent days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained almost 200 points, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% after bouncing between a gain of 2.9% and a loss of 3.3% early. That would be a notable change in normal times, but the index has had eight straight days where it bounced up or down between 4.9% and 12%.
In another sign that shell-shocked investors were becoming a little more willing to hold riskier assets, stocks of smaller companies rose far more than the rest of the market. Those stocks had taken some of the heaviest losses since the sell-off began in early March.
Union: Hundreds of Philadelphia airport layoffs amid virus: Hundreds of contract workers at Philadelphia International Airport are getting laid off as flight cancellations soar because of the spreading coronavirus, a labor union official said.
Gabe Morgan of Local 32BJ of Service Employees International Union said some workers received layoff notices Wednesday, and he estimated that 600 to 1,000 of its members will be laid off through Monday.
U.S. mortgage rates climb this week; 30-year loan at 3.65%: U.S. long-term mortgage rates climbed this week in a whip-sawing market amid deepening anxiety over devastation to the economy from the coronavirus pandemic. Home loan rates had hit all-time lows two weeks ago. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year loan jumped to 3.65% this week from 3.36% last week. Freddie Mac said the short-term rise was due to mortgage lenders increasing prices to deal with booming demand for refinancing into loans at historically low rates.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.06% from 2.77%.
Nikki Haley resigns from Boeing board over airlines bailout: Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley has resigned from the board of Boeing Co., cutting ties with a company she long supported as South Carolina governor because of her opposition to a bailout of the airplane manufacturer that is in the works amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.
“I strongly believe that when one is part of a team, and one cannot in good faith support the direction of the team, then the proper thing to do is to resign,” Haley wrote to Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun and board chairman Larry Kellner.
– Associated Press
, in a letter dated March 16 and provided Thursday to The Associated Press. “As such, I hereby resign my position from the Boeing Board.”
Earlier this week, Boeing said it was seeking $60 billion in federal aid for itself and its supply chain, both of which are struggling amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which has halted major travel and shuttered many businesses. The Trump administration has said it would back Boeing, which is also a top U.S. defense contractor.
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