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US stocks rally as House passes nearly $500 billion relief package, oil rebounds

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  • US stocks rose Friday after the House passed a nearly $500 coronavirus relief package Thursday night. 
  • The bill will provide more money to small businesses, hospitals, and ramp up coronavirus testing. 
  • Oil prices rebounded, reversing some losses from historic lows earlier in the week. 
  • Investors also looked to first quarter earnings reports. Many companies have lowered guidance for future performance amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks rose Friday as investors assessed the $484 billion coronavirus relief package passed in the House on Thursday evening.
The additional bill includes $321 billion for the exhausted Paycheck Protection Program, as money for economic disaster loans for small businesses, emergency relief for hospitals, and additional coronavirus testing.
Here's where major US indexes stood shortly after the market open at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday:
  • S&P 500: 2,811.12, up 0.5%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 23,637.25, up 0.5% (122 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 8,528.01, up 0.4%
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Oil markets have rebouned after West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery fell into negative territory Monday for the first time ever. Since, both WTI and Brent crude — the international benchmark — have pared some losses.
"There is little in the way of fundamental developments to support the move higher, although given the amount of weakness recently, we were due a relief rally," wrote ING's Warren Patterson in a Friday note. Prices have also been supported by renewed tension between the US and Iran, he said, but will likely be short lived unless there is further escalation.
Investors also looked to companies reporting first-quarter earnings, the first reports to show early impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business. Shares of Verizon rose nearly 1% in early trading on an earnings before erasing gains. Intel stock traded nearly 5% lower early Friday after the company announced a second quarter guidance below analyst expectations in its earnings release.
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Some optimism that a treatment for COVID-19 diminished Thursday when a report showed that Gilead Sciences drug remdesivir failed to improve patient conditions in a clinical trial.
The overall economic backdrop continues to deteriorate as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, keeping consumers at home to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported US weekly jobless claims were 4.4 million for the week ending April 18, bringing the five week total to 26 million. The same day, a gauge of business activity showed a major slowdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.
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* This article was originally published here Press Release Distribution

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