US stocks posted the biggest weekly gain since 1974 as investors looked past staggering jobless numbers when the Federal Reserve released new measures to cushion the fallout from the coronavirus. Oil fell as investors saw a supply-curb proposal as insufficient. The Fed announced another series of sweeping steps to provide as much as $2.3 trillion in additional aid just as data showed the number of claims for unemployment benefits surged for a third week.
The S&P 500 capped off a 12% weekly gain, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 13% over the short four-day week. US stock markets are closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday. The new Fed measures include an array of programs to help boost the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The central bank said it would also buy investment-grade and junk bonds.
The S&P 500 is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap U.S. equities. There is over USD 9.9 trillion indexed or benchmarked to the index, with indexed assets comprising approximately USD 3.4 trillion of this total. The index includes 500 leading companies and covers approximately 80% of available market capitalization.
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