Stimulus hopes buoy Wall Street after rout

(Reuters) – Wall Street rebounded on Tuesday as investors pinned their hopes on policy easing by major central banks and governments after global markets plummeted in the previous session on fears of a coronavirus-driven recession.

Hand sanitizer as is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as further cases of coronavirus were confirmed in New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Traders now expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates for a second time this month, with President Donald Trump piling more pressure by saying that the central bank should bring U.S. interest rates down to the level of “competitor nations.”

Meanwhile, Japan unveiled a $4 billion package to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 114,300 people have now been infected by the coronavirus globally and over 4,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally of government announcements.

“Investors are trying to look for any signs that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer of 50 Park Investments in New York.

“If they get any sign that this coronavirus is not as devastating economically, then this market can rip higher.”

The three main U.S. stock indexes suffered their worst day since the 2008 financial crisis on Monday as oil prices plunged following pledges by top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to increase output in an over-supplied market.

The selloff was so sharp it triggered trading halts put in place in the wake of 1987’s “Black Monday” crash, with the blue-chip Dow Jones shedding as much as 2,000 points and the indexes edging toward a bear market.

At 10:12 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 817.23 points, or 3.43%, at 24,668.25, while the S&P 500 .SPX was up 96.41 points, or 3.51%, at 2,842.97. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 291.00 points, or 3.66%, at 8,241.67.

All the S&P sectors were higher, with the energy sector .SPNY rising 5.5% following its worst day on record on Monday. Oil recouped some losses from its biggest one-day decline in 30 years. [O/R]

The rate-sensitive financial sector .SPSY climbed 4.4% as U.S. Treasury yields ticked up from all-time lows. [US/]

The CBOE Volatility index , a gauge of investor anxiety, slipped about 5 points to 49.15, after closing at its highest levels since the financial crisis.

U.S. airlines American (AAL.O) and Delta (DAL.N) suspended their 2020 financial forecasts on the virus impact on demand, but the S&P 1500 airlines .SPCOMAIR index rose 4.9%, tracking broader markets.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL.N) fell 1.3% after joining a slew of travel-related companies to flag virus impact.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by nearly 8-to-1 on the NYSE and 4.9-to-1 on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and eight new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 103 new lows.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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