Dow Surges as Trump Declares a National Emergency to Fight Coronavirus

Stocks surge to end a volatile week on an uptick as President Donald Trump declares a national emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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  1. Stocks surged in late day trading Friday following Wall Street's dramatic losses from Thursday as President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to contend with the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Coronavirus update: The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 137,445, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE, and deaths increased to 5,088. The U.S. has 1,268 cases of the virus and deaths have climbed to 41.
  3. Warren Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting will be held without shareholders present on May 2.

Stocks surged in late-day trading Friday following Thursday's dramatic losses as President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The declaration will free up as much as $50 billion in financial resources to help Americans affected by the outbreak.

“I am officially declaring a national emergency, two very big words,” Trump said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1,950 points, or 9.2%, to 23,151, the S&P 500 rose 9.21% and the Nasdaq gained 9.34%. 

The S&P 500 fell 9.5% on Thursday and has dropped 26.7% from its all-time high, which was set just last month. The S&P 500 entered a bear market, a day after the Dow did the same.

The Dow plummeted 10% on Thursday, or 2,352 points, for its worst day since a nearly 23% drop on Oct. 19, 1987.

"The capitulation we are seeing is largely unprecedented and whenever we see these signs, we think it is a time to buy," said Brett Ewing, chief market strategist at First Franklin Financial Services. "Credit should be bought here as the (Federal Reserve) will no doubt announce some type of purchase program soon."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC Friday that the White House and Congress were nearing a deal on a stimulus plan.

“I think we’re very close to getting this done,” Mnuchin said. “The president is absolutely committed that this will be an entire government effort, that we will be working with the House and Senate.”

Despite Friday's gains, global equities were headed for their worst week since 2008 as markets remained unsure of whether emergency financial measures from governments will be enough to prevent a recession.

Even the Federal Reserve's announcement that it would step in to ease “highly unusual disruptions” in the Treasury market and pump in at least $1.5 trillion couldn't stop Wall Street from reeling Thursday.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs now expect the Fed to slash interest rates by 100 basis points - back to zero - when the central bank meets next week.

The Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.75 percent Friday, saying the unscheduled rate decision was "a proactive measure taken in light of the negative shocks to Canada’s economy arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent sharp drop in oil prices."

"It is clear that the spread of the coronavirus is having serious consequences for Canadian families, and for Canada’s economy," the bank said in a statement. "In addition, lower prices for oil, even since our last scheduled rate decision on March 4, will weigh heavily on the economy, particularly in energy intensive regions."

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 137,445, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 5,088.

The U.S. has 1,268 cases of the virus and deaths have climbed to 41.

Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Report said Friday it would close Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort starting March 16 through the end of the month.

The entertainment giant announced Thursday the temporary closure of the Disneyland Resort and the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, Calif., in response to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

New York City declared a state of emergency and banned gatherings of 500 or more people. Broadway shows went dark Thursday evening until April 13.

Warren Buffett said the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway  (BRK.A) - Get Report investment firm will be held May 2 without shareholders in attendance as the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt life on and off Wall Street.

Chipmaker Broadcom   (AVGO) - Get Report posted fiscal first-quarter results that missed analysts' estimates and pulled its fiscal-year guidance due to the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Adobe  (ADBE) - Get Report posted fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings ahead of analysts' estimates but warned the coronavirus pandemic would have an impact on booking decisions, consulting services and marketing spending by its customers.