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Stocks stabilize as investors weigh further central bank support

U.S. stocks stabilized Thursday as the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank each rolled out fresh measures to support financial markets as the coronavirus pandemic escalates. 

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 188 points, a day after it tumbled more than 1,300 points, nearly erasing all of its gains since President Donald Trump took office. The blue-chip average closed below 20,000 Wednesday for the first time since Feb. 2, 2017. On Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 edged up 0.5%. 

U.S. oil prices also regained ground, surging nearly 24% to settle at $25.22 a barrel, clawing back some of its steep loses from the day before.

The Federal Reserve on Thursday expanded the currency swaps it announced Sunday with major central banks such as Europe and England. The expansion includes central banks in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, South Korea, Singapore Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

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