Aid Packages Powers Day of Huge Gains

As if to prove Tuesday’s mammoth gains were no fluke, stock markets in Toronto piled up another session of substantially higher prices, warming to the idea of financial rescue packages to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The TSX Composite Index leaped 568.15 points, or 4.5%, to close Wednesday‘s session at 13,139.23

The Canadian dollar sprang up 1.17 cents at 70.41 cents U.S.

Utilities proved the main beneficiaries of all this buying, as Transalta advanced $1.20, or 20.2%, to $7.14, while Altagas copped gains of $2.11, or 19.4%, to $13.00.

Among real-estate stocks, Artis REIT jumped $1.65, or 27.3%, to $7.70, while Dream Office REIT units gained $3.89, or 22.9%, to $20.90.

In the consumer discretionary category, MTY Food Group hiked $5.26, or 26.8%, to $24.99, while Great Canadian Gaming climbed $3.66, or 18.7% to $23.27.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange hiked 14.92 points, or 3.9%, to 395.67.

All TSX subgroups were in the plus column, with utilities jumping 13.5%, real-estate hiking 11.5%, and consumer discretionary stocks popping 10.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 13% in two days as a coronavirus stimulus deal was agreed upon by Congress. Positive comments from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a former Federal Reserve chief also lifted equities.

The 30-stock index heightened 495.64 points, or 2.4%, to 21,200.55

The broader S&P 500 gained 28.23 points, or 1.2%, to 2,475.56. Wednesday marked the first time since February the Dow and S&P 500 closed higher in back-to-back sessions. Boeing shares rallied 24% to lead the Dow higher. A 9.2% gain in Nike also boosted the Dow.

Stocks came off their highs in the final minutes of trading after Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was prepared to "put a hold on this bill until stronger conditions are imposed on the $500 billion corporate welfare fund." At its session high, the Dow was up more than 6% while the S&P 500 gained as much as 5.1%.

The NASDAQ finished a topsy-turvy session down 33.56 points to 7,384.29, as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all closed lower.

White House and Senate leaders agreed to a massive $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus bill in the middle of the night.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also said Wednesday the U.S. economy will experience a quick rebound after a “very sharp” recession.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury lost ground, raising yields to 0.85% from Tuesday’s 0.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices improved 52 cents to $24.53 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices slumped $22.90 to $1,634.30 U.S. an ounce.

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