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  • US stocks climbed Friday in a bounce back from the worst single-day drop since 1987.
  • All three major indexes gained on hopes of fresh economic stimulus from the White House.
  • Stimulus was also enacted globally. Central banks in Norway, Japan, and Australia cut interest rates, bought government bonds, or took other measures.
  • Equities remain in bear-market territory as coronavirus fears and the oil-price war loom.
  • S&P 500 futures soared more than 5% to reach their upward trading limit early Thursday.
  • Watch all major indices update here.

US stocks climbed Friday as investors attempted to claw back from the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst single-day drop since 1987.

The gains came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Congress and the Trump administration were nearing an economic stimulus deal on Thursday night. President Donald Trump hinted at what the package might include in a Friday-morning tweet.

Stimulus was also enacted globally. Central banks in Norway, Japan, and Australia cut interest rates, bought government bonds, or took other measures.

Gains faded in midday trading Friday. The Dow was up more than 1,200 points right after the market open, nearly erased all gains around midday, then ripped higher once again.

In premarket hours, S&P 500 futures contracts soared more than 5% to hit their upward limit in early trading, which halted trading until the market open.

Here’s where major US indexes stood as of 3:20 p.m. ET on Friday:

Read more:‘One of the buying opportunities of a lifetime’: Here’s why Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel thinks the coronavirus-driven stock rout is laying the foundation for a massive bounce back

All three major US indexes remain in bear-market territory as coronavirus fears and the oil-price war weigh on investor sentiments.

Global stock markets saw mostly gains following Thursday’s chaotic session. Germany’s DAX rose 0.8%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 2.5% and the Euro Stoxx 50 increased 1.6%.

Scroll down to read Markets Insider’s coverage of coronavirus-driven market madness:

JPMORGAN: The best case scenario for stocks is a Biden presidency with a Republican Senate


A Joe Biden presidency would be better for markets than a second Trump term, but only if Republicans keep the Senate, JPMorgan analysts said.

The bank laid out its best- and worst-case scenarios for the “wildcard” 2020 elections in a Wednesday note. A Biden presidency with a Republican Senate would best serve markets as the Trump tax regime would likely continue, the analysts wrote. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act boosted the historically long bull market, lowering corporate taxes and triggering increased stock buybacks.

Real the full story here.

Flickr/Karen Apricot

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, countries and cities around the world are closing schools in an effort to contain the outbreak. The decision to close schools could hurt the global economy, however, according to one firm.

So far, as many as 29 countries including China, Japan, and Iran have closed schools nationwide, according to a Friday report by Capital Economics. In addition, 20 more countries have closed schools at a local level, and it’s likely that more will shutter as the virus spreads, the report says.

“The most important economic impact of this will be the direct reduction in output due to parents taking time off work to look after their children,” wrote Capital Economics.

Read the full story here.

‘Big Short’ investor Michael Burry made a ‘significant’ bet that’s paying off as coronavirus ravages markets

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Michael Burry, the hedge fund manager famously portrayed by Christian Bale in “The Big Short,” was one of the few investors cheering as coronavirus fears and the breakout of an oil-price war decimated financial markets this week.

“I have had a significant bearish market bet that is working out for now,” the money manager, who made a fortune betting against mortgage securities after correctly predicting the 2008 housing crisis, told Bloomberg.

Burry added that it was a “good size” wager against indexes, but declined to offer more details.

Read the full story here.

JPMorgan officially forecasts a coronavirus-driven recession will rock the US and Europe by July

Associated Press

The US’s biggest bank expects the coronavirus pandemic to sink the US and European economies into a deep recession as soon as this summer.

JPMorgan’s views of the virus “have evolved dramatically in recent weeks” as the outbreak spreads around the world and fuels the worst stock market sell-offs in decades, the bank’s economists wrote in a Thursday note.

The US economy will shrink by 2% in the first quarter and 3% in the second, JPMorgan projected, also suggesting the eurozone economy will contract by 1.8% and 3.3% in the same periods.

Read the full story here.

Oil is on track for its worst week since the financial crisis amid coronavirus panic, global price war

Wikimedia Commons

Oil is barreling toward its worst week since 2008 amid a global price war that has erupted as the same time when the coronavirus outbreak is imperiling demand.

As OPEC and its allies continue to escalate a price war and threaten to boost outputs, futures in New York have slumped as much as 18% this week. By April, crude-oil supply could reach a record high, according to Goldman Sachs.

Read the full story here.

The White House is looking into suspending student debt during the coronavirus outbreak, Mnuchin says

Associated Press

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that a temporary suspension of student-loan debt was one of many policies the White House might pursue as the coronavirus pandemic hits the US economy.

Asked whether a three-month hiatus from student-loan payments was under consideration, Mnuchin told CNBC: “That’s on our list of 50 different items we’re bringing to the president for a decision. That’ll be something we’re looking at.”

Read the full story here.

Trump says only a payroll tax cut ‘will make a big difference’ as coronavirus hits economy

Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

President Donald Trump repeated calls for a payroll tax cut Friday as the coronavirus outbreak increasingly raised alarm about the US economy, even as it appeared there was little support for such a policy on Capitol Hill.

“If you want to get money into the hands of people quickly & efficiently, let them have the full money that they earned, APPROVE A PAYROLL TAX CUT until the end of the year, December 31,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Then you are doing something that is really meaningful. Only that will make a big difference!”

Read the full story here.

Bitcoin tanked 50% in just 2 days amid coronavirus market panic


Bitcoin is losing its luster as a safe-haven asset amid the coronavirus-induced market rout.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency tumbled another 32% early Friday, falling to $3,915. That brings its total losses in the past two days to 50% – one of the largest drops on record for the digital coin. Bitcoin pared losses after the epic drop.

Read the full story here.

Investors stockpiled a record $137 billion of cash in just 5 days as coronavirus fears sent them fleeing from risk

Breaking Bad / AMC screencap

Investors piled record amounts of capital into cash this week as the bull market’s 11-year run petered out.

Inflows to cash-like assets totaled a record $137 billion through the five days ended March 11, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing Bank of America and EPFR Global data. An all-time-high $14 billion was channeled into government bonds, while investors dumped $3 billion into gold.

Read the full story here.

Warren Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting will be held without shareholders because of the coronavirus pandemic


Warren Buffett announced in a letter to shareholders on Friday that Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting would be held without shareholders this year amid growing concern over the coronavirus pandemic.

“I very much regret this action; for many decades the annual meeting has been a high point of the year for me and my partner, Charlie Munger,” Buffett, 89, wrote in the letter.

Read the full story here.

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