HomeLive updates: U.S. stocks brace for more losses despite central banks’ latest rescue plansBusinessLive updates: U.S. stocks brace for more losses despite central banks’ latest rescue plans

Live updates: U.S. stocks brace for more losses despite central banks’ latest rescue plans

“Government resources are unlimited when they have the central bank behind them with its money-printing capabilities that know no limits,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, wrote in commentary Wednesday night. “Investors must know the world has changed. The world’s economic leaders will not rest until the financial world is on a firmer footing.”

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 200 points in early-afternoon trading, a 1 percent jump to lift it above the 20,000 mark. It was 20,100 around 1:30 p.m.. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 1 percent as well, registering at 2,419. Technology stocks continued their mini-roll, lifting the Nasdaq 3 percent to 7,189. All three major U.S. indexes are now in well into a bear market, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 falling more than 30 percent from high one month ago.

The oil patch got a respite from weeks of declining prices when crude futures spiked 22 percent on reports that U.S. companies are cutting costs and curtailing the number of rigs. The upshot will reduce the amount of oil flowing to an already-oversupplied market.

American workers are getting laid off at an unprecedented pace as the coronavirus outbreak shuts down much of the economy, with more than a million expected to lose their jobs by the end of March, economists say. Ball State University economist Michael Hicks predicts this month could be the worst for layoffs in U.S. history, a drastic reversal in a period of otherwise historically low unemployment.

Next week, the New York Stock Exchange will close its trading floor and move to all-electronic trading for the first time ever, Intercontinental Exchange announced. The electronic trading group, which owns the NYSE, said the decision comes after two people who were on the floor tested positive for COVID-19, although they have not been in the building this week. Most trading is already all-electronic, so the decision should have minimal impact on day to day transactions.

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