NEW YORK (AFP) -- Wall Street posted its best performance in nearly 90 years on Tuesday, as indices rallied on hopes that lawmakers would soon agree on a massive stimulus package to blunt the coronavirus' economic impact.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 11.4 percent rallying to end the session at 20,704.91, its biggest one-day percentage increase since 1933.
The tech-rich Nasdaq gained 8.1 percent to close at 7,417.86, while the broad-based S&P 500 finished the day at 2,447.33, a gain of 9.4 percent.
Investors rallied on expectations the US Congress was close to reaching an agreement on a stimulus package totaling $2 trillion or higher to get Americans spending again and ensure businesses don't go under after the coronavirus forced entire cities and states to lockdown.
The details of the package are under negotiation, but Republicans who control the Senate have proposed sending out checks of as much as $1,200 per-person and $500 for each child, depending on income.
They also have proposed offering $500 billion to corporations, including $50 billion to revenue-strapped airlines, as well as $300 in loans to small businesses.
"The market is expecting a major fiscal package to help cushion the downside caused by the shutdown of the economy," Quincy Krosby of Prudential told AFP, adding that provisions specifically directed at small businesses were encouraging investors.
"The key is to get the money out as quickly as possible and not wait," Krosby said.
The package will come on top of a series of moves by the Federal Reserve to pump trillions of dollars of liquidity into the financial system to stop it from seizing up, and become a lender of last resort for businesses.
The stocks rally buoyed a slew of companies, including American Express, whose share price rose by 21.9 percent, and Chevron, which climbed 22.7 percent after it said it still intended to issue a dividend to shareholders.
Boeing climbed 20.9 percent in a rare bit of good news for the company hit hard both by the grounding of its 737 MAX model and the recent fall-off in demand for air travel. (AFP)