The S&P 500 rallied for a second straight session on Wednesday as the US Senate appeared near a vote on a $2 trillion package to support businesses and households devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Wall Street trimmed hefty gains late in the session after reports raised doubts about how quickly the bill might pass, but the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average still ended up more than 1% and 2%, respectively.
Boeing surged 24%, bringing its gain over the past three sessions to almost 70%, as investors bet on government support for the aerospace industry as well as airlines. American Airlines Group, United Airlines Holding and Delta Air Lines each jumped more than 10%.
Boeing, long a symbol of U.S. manufacturing strength, remains down by more than 50% since mid-February.
Wednesday marked the first time since Feb. 12 that S&P 500 climbed two days in a row. Even after its late-day retreat from its highs, the Dow’s 14% gain over two sessions was its strongest two-day percent performance since 1987.
“What the fiscal and monetary stimulus has done is to allow the market to recover,” said Justin Hoogendoorn, head of fixed income strategy at Piper Jaffray in Chicago. “It’s not because the main street community is coming back. It’s the institutional crowd being able to say, ‘the world isn’t falling apart’.”
Top aides to Republican President Donald Trump and senior Senate Republicans and Democrats said they had agreed on the unprecedented stimulus bill, which includes a $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to $3,000 apiece to millions of U.S. families.
However, Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he was prepared to put a hold on the bill unless a group of Republican senators drop their objections to language