OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open lower. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open 35 points up.
Nearly half of American households have lost income in the two months since the coronavirus pandemic led to and more than a third expect to lose income over the next four weeks, the Census Bureau said in a new report.
Federal Reserve officials began contemplating last month how to communicate their plans to keep interest rates near zero and to purchase Treasury securities to spur a stronger economic recovery.
U.S. stocks rose on optimism about the prospects for a global economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The S&P 500 gained 1.7%, erasing Tuesday’s losses, as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added about 369 points, or 1.5%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 2.1%.
The gains were broad, with all 11 sectors of the S&P 500 in the green. The beaten-down energy group led the S&P 500 sectors, rising about 4% as crude oil prices rallied.
Airline shares, which have been battered by the halt in global travel, popped, with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines up 4.4% or more. Airline
executives have said people are starting to book flights again, a potential inflection point for the industry.
State governments hoping to revive their economies are taking steps to ease the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus. In one sign of a positive
investor outlook, the Russell 2000 index of small-capitalization companies, which tend to be sensitive to the domestic economy, gained 2.7%, outpacing the major large-cap indexes.
Gold prices settled higher for a second session, as economic stimulus measures boosted demand for the precious metal against the backdrop of economies attempting to reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Futures prices for the metal then extended the gains from the settlement after minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s April meeting showed that Fed officials
discussed being more explicit about the future path of interest rates. The Fed’s benchmark interest rate stands in a range from 0 to 0.25%, but negative interest rates would be a boon for precious metals.
Gold for June delivery on Comex rose $6.50, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,752.10 an ounce. Prices were at $1,754.40 in electronic trading shortly after the FOMC minutes, which were released following the futures price settlement.
U.S. oil prices ended 4.8% higher at $33.49 a barrel, the highest since March 10, after the EIA reported a large and unexpected decline in U.S. oil inventories that all but
eliminates any lingering fears that storage tanks might fill beyond capacity due to weak, coronavirus-driven demand.
The U.S. dollar weakened 0.5% against the euro and 0.2% against the yen.