Updated Mar 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

Stocks soar 9% as Congress nears coronavirus stimulus deal

"Wall St." sign outside the New York Stock Exchange
Photo: Luiz Roberto Lima-ANB/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Stocks closed up more than 9% on Tuesday, marking yet another day of huge moves in the stock market amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving the news: Congressional leaders signaled that they're close to striking a deal on a massive stimulus package that will soften the blow for businesses and consumers as the pandemic threatens an unprecedented halt in economic activity.

By the numbers: The S&P 500 jumped 9.3%. The Dow rose 11.2% (or 2,112 points), while the Nasdaq climbed 8.1%.

  • It was the Dow's biggest percentage gain since 1933.

What to watch: President Trump told Fox News he would like to have the country "opened up, and just raring to go" by Easter, which is less than 3 weeks away. Economists warn restarting economic activity before the coronavirus is contained would be more harmful for the economy in the long-run.

  • "Trying and failing to reopen the economy before economic activity is organically ready to resume could have dire economic consequences," Michael Strain, an economist at right-leaning think tank AEI, wrote in a Bloomberg op-ed today.

Of note: One of the first economic data points since the economy shuttered in response to the coronavirus was released this morning. As expected, it wasn't pretty.

  • Indices measuring activity in the U.S. manufacturing and service sectors fell to the lowest level since 2008.
  • For the eurozone, the index saw the worst reading ever in the survey's 22-year history.
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