Coronavirus: S&P 500 headed for worst first quarter since 1938

Coronavirus: S&P 500 headed for worst first quarter since 1938”

Stocks opened higher on Wall Street Monday in more volatile trading as investors try to assess whether global authorities can do enough to nurse the economy through the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Stocks rose for the fourth time in five days, with all 11 S&P industry sectors ending higher, as investors looked past dismal US economic data: Dow +3.2%, S&P 500 +3.3%, Nasdaq +3.6%.

Future contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up about 170 points, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures indicated possible gains in early trading on Tuesday. Unemployed Claims in the United States climbed to 3.28 million, the highest ever, during the week ended March 21.

SPDR S&P 500 ETFs were up 0.46 per cent.

Trump on Sunday dropped a hotly criticized plan to get the economy up and running again by mid-April after White House health experts argued strongly to extend the stay-at-home order to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 disease. It is on track for its worst quarter since 2008 and the worst first quarter since 1938.

"Until we've got some evidence that can help deal with the virus, it's probably more choppy markets ahead", said Noah Hamman, chief executive office of AdvisorShares in Bethesda, Maryland.

More news: COVID-19: UK epidemic slowing as 1,228 die

The Dow is now up 20 percent from its coronavirus sell-off low on March 23, while the S&P 500 has grown more than 17 percent from those levels.

General Motors Co rose 5% as Trump praised the automaker's ventilator production after he invoked emergency powers to compel the manufacturing of badly needed equipment to tackle the pandemic.

A rebound in oil prices from 18-year lows after the United States and Russian Federation agreed to discuss stabilizing energy markets helped lift shares of Exxon Mobil and Chevron about 4 per cent in light premarket trading.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Carnival Corp slumped after Berenberg slashed its price targets on cruise operators by about a third.

Saudi Arabia has given no indication of relenting in its strategy of flooding the market with oil in a price war with rival producer Russian Federation, despite pressure to do so from the United States.

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