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Stock market rallies on news of imminent COVID-19 relief bill passage

Chaay_Tee/iStock(NEW YORK) — The stock market enjoyed a welcome, though modest, rally Tuesday morning on news that the Senate was close to passing a $2 trillion economic stimulus package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 1,000 points at the start of the trading session – a 6% increase – while the NASDAQ was up nearly 350 points, or 5%, and the S&P 500 climbed more than 125 points.

The gains followed another disappointing day on Wall Street on Monday as all three major indexes suffered heavy losses due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the pandemic.  The Dow shed an additional 582 points by the closing bell, a 3% loss, while the S&P 500 gave up 2.93 percent.  The Nasdaq fared better, losing just 0.27 percent by closing. 

All three indexes have shed 30 percent from their previous highs, which they reached in February, officially ushering in a bear market.

The drops were attributed to Senate Democrats blocking the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for a second time in the past 24 hours, saying – among other things — that it didn’t offer enough aid to hospitals, small businesses and working families, nor provide adequate unemployment benefits and paid sick leave for workers furloughed or sickened by COVID-19.

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