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Stocks retreat as investors await stimulus aid

U.S. stocks pulled back Friday following three straight days of gains as a massive coronavirus relief package for the U.S. economy headed for congressional approval.

The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 800 points, as the U.S. eclipsed China as the global leader in virus cases. The blue-chip average has rallied 21% over the past three days, its biggest gain in that span since 1931. Heading into Friday, the Dow was on track for its best week in nearly 90 years. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 3%.

Traders say the pending passage of a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus bill has helped drive the stock market’s double-digit percentage gains this week. Congress and the Federal Reserve have promised an astonishing amount of aid for the economy and markets, hoping to support them as the pandemic shuts down more businesses each day.

The House is expected to vote Friday on the $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package, which was passed by the Senate late Wednesday. President Donald Trump plans to sign the bill once it clears the House.

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