Dow surges 2,100 points as Congress nears deal on virus aid

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange as the market closes, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in New York.  Major U.S. stock indexes closed sharply lower on Wall Street Wednesday as fears of a prolonged coronavirus-induced recession took hold.  The Dow industrials lost more than 1,300 points, or 6.3%. After a brutal few weeks, the Dow has now lost nearly all of its gains since President Trump's inauguration. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange as the market closes, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in New York. Major U.S. stock indexes closed sharply lower on Wall Street Wednesday as fears of a prolonged coronavirus-induced recession took hold. The Dow industrials lost more than 1,300 points, or 6.3%. After a brutal few weeks, the Dow has now lost nearly all of its gains since President Trump's inauguration. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – Stocks surged on Wall Street Tuesday, sending the Dow up more than 2,100 points, biggest-ever point gain, as Congress nears a deal to inject $2 trillion into the economy to mitigate damage from the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow's gain of 11.4% was its largest percentage increase since 1933. Treasury yields rose in an encouraging sign that demand for low-risk assets was easing. The market has seen other big rebounds recently, only for them to wash out immediately. Investors say they need to see the number of new infections peak before markets can find a bottom.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story is below:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 10% Tuesday as Congress and the White House neared a deal to inject nearly $2 trillion of aid into the coronavirus-ravaged economy.

The huge gains on Wall Street followed a worldwide rally as a wave of buying interrupted what has been a brutal month of nearly nonstop selling. Despite the gains, investors were far from saying markets have hit bottom. Rallies nearly as big as this have punctuated the last few weeks, and none lasted more than a day.

Investors have been frustrated waiting for the U.S. government to do what it can to help the economy, which is increasingly shutting down by the day. But both Democrats and Republicans said Tuesday they’re close on a massive economic rescue package, which will include payments to U.S. households and aid for small businesses and the travel industry, among other things.

A vote in the Senate could come later Tuesday or Wednesday, and if approved, it would follow the latest round of extraordinary aid launched by the Federal Reserve on Monday.

“I don't think there's any more confidence in the fundamental outlook, but the fact that we're making progress is good news,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management. “It’s sort of like, keep the patient alive in the emergency room so you can provide some treatment options.”

The buying circled the world. South Korean stocks surged 8.6%, Germany’s market jumped 11% and Treasury yields rose in a sign that investors are feeling less fearful.