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Futures jump 350 points on coronavirus aid hopes

U.S. stocks were poised to move higher for a second consecutive day, capping a turbulent week on hopes government and central bank action can shield the global economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 350 points, after a relatively modest change a day earlier after wild price swings over the past week. The blue-chip average climbed 188.27 points Thursday to close back above 20,000. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures added 1.9%. Both were on pace for weekly losses of at least 11%. 

Investors were encouraged after seeing more steps by the Federal Reserve and other central banks and governments to support credit markets and the economy.

“Global markets have taken fright at the scale of potential economic damage wrought by the coronavirus containment measures,” analysts at BlackRock Investment Institute said in a note. “We see the economy coming to a near standstill but expect activity to ultimately return with limited permanent economic damage as long as authorities deliver an overwhelming fiscal and monetary policy response to bridge businesses and households through the shock.”

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Trader Vincent Napolitano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, March 2, 2020.

The U.S. dollar dropped from fresh highs, suffering its worst fall in more than four years after California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order encouraging the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home starting late Thursday. That weighed on the dollar as worries grew that the world’s largest economy was headed for recession. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as much as 1.8%.

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