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The Latest: Market likes what it hears from Washington

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington, as President Donald Trump looks on. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington, as President Donald Trump looks on. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on action in the financial markets (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

This time, the stock market liked what it heard out of Washington regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

The S&P 500 rose 6% Tuesday, the seventh straight day with a move up or down 4%. A key driver of that volatility has been how the market interprets the responses from the Trump administration and the Federal Reserve to the potential damage to the global and domestic economies from the outbreak.

On Tuesday, the administration promised to deliver a massive financial package designed to help both businesses and individual Americans to weather the crisis. Also, the Fed stepped in to support the market for short-term borrowings. Both the fiscal and monetary moves gave a boost to the market and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 1,050 points, or 5.2%.

The gains helped reverse some of the sharp losses from Monday, when a steep emergency rate cut from the Fed and an ackowledgement from President Donald Trump that the economy could be headed for a recession only added to investors' nervousness.

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3:25 p.m.

Trading on the Mexican Stock Exchange was halted for 15 minutes after the key index fell by 7.12%, triggering an automatic halt.

The fall contrasted with sharp gains in U.S. markets happening at the same time.

Alfredo Coutiño of Moody’s Analytics said Mexico’s markets “are now realizing that the country is facing a higher risk of contamination by the coronavirus,” and the weakness of the Mexican economy.

Despite reassurances from officials, Mexico and its health system are showing “real vulnerability,” Coutiño continued. He said the domestic stock market particularly doesn't like the lack of government measures to protect the economy and the people.

"Fiscal and monetary policies are running far behind the curve,” he said.

The global pandemic has hammered world markets. The Mexican peso on Monday weakened to over 23 to the dollar for the first time in history and continued its slide Tuesday.

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1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump said the government is considering aiding Boeing, which was already struggling with the fallout from two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jetliner and now faces reduced airline demand for new planes because of the virus outbreak.

"We're certainly looking at Boeing," he said during a White House press conference. "Boeing got hit very hard in many different ways."

Trump said Boeing's plunge was unthinkable. "I would consider it the greatest company in the world prior to a year ago. Now they get hit in 15 different ways."

A Boeing spokesman said the company is seeking federal help for itself and suppliers but declined to give details.

Boeing's stock has now lost more than two-thirds of its value since hitting a record high of $440.62 just over a year ago. That works out to a loss of $175 billion as of late Monday. Boeing fell another 3% to $125 Tuesday afternoon, holding back gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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5 p.m.

European stock markets closed higher on Tuesday after governments offered hundreds of billions of euros (dollars) worth of financial support to the global economy.

Germany's DAX closed the day 2.3% higher at 8,939.10, France's CAC 40 gained 2.8% to 3,991.78, and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 2.8% as well, to 5,294.90. Italy's FTSE MIB logged a 2.2% gain to 15,314.77. All remain in a bear market, however.

The euro was down 1.8% to $1.0978 and 10-year bond yields in major economies were slightly higher.

The U.S. government ramped up its support proposals, including an $850 billion package that could include checks to American families. European countries rolled out aid programs as well, with Spain deploying 200 billion euros ($220 billion), or the equivalent to a fifth of annual GDP, in loans, credit guarantees and subsidies for workers and vulnerable citizens. France pledged 45 billion euros ($50 billion) in aid for small businesses.

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12:40 p.m.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the financial markets will stay open for people to access their money during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mnuchin says at a White House briefing Tuesday that shorter hours may still be necessary. But he says banks and other institutions will not shut down as the U.S. grapples with the pandemic.

Mnuchin recalls that financial institutions closed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks because of disruptions to technology.

He says that’s not the case in the current situation.

Says Mnuchin: “We absolutely believe in keeping the markets open.”

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12:30 p.m.

The stock market has doubled its gains as members of the Trump administration provide details about plans to support the U.S. economy during the coronavirus outbreak.

Included in whatever economic bailout package comes forth will be substantial financial aid for the airline industry. Shares of big carriers such as American and United have been pummeled as countries restrict travel and travelers choose to stay home.

The U.S. airlines have asked the federal government for grants, loans and tax relief that could easily top $50 billion to help them recover.

American, which might have the most precarious balance sheet among the major U.S. airlines, has jumped 25% this week as Trump voiced reassurances that his administration will support the industry. United, which said passenger traffic has plummeted in March because of the virus, has dropped 42% this month and is only marginally higher Tuesday.

The White House on Tuesday was asking Congress to approve a massive emergency rescue package to help businesses as well as taxpayers.