The major averages finish higher wrapping up the best week since 1974 after the Federal Reserve detailed a bevy of programs to support the economy during the shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic.
The S&P 500 gained 1.5% to close at 2,789 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 285 points, or 1.2%, to 23,719. The Nasdaq Composite closed 0.8% higher at 8,153. The U.S. stock market will be closed Friday due to Good Friday.
For the week, the S&P 500 surged 12.1%. That was its biggest one-week gain since 1974, when it rallied more than 14%. The Nasdaq had its best week since 2009, jumping 10.6%. The Dow soared more than 12% for one of its biggest weekly gains on record.
Following the weekly initial jobless claims came in at 6.6 million, the Fed announced a slew of programs, including loans geared towards small and medium sized businesses, that will total up to $2.3 trillion. The central bank also gave more details on its plans to buy investment-grade and now even junk bonds.
The Fed moves helped the big banks. JPMorgan Chase jumped nearly 9% to lead the Dow higher on the day. Wells Fargo and Citigroup both jumped over 7% while Bank of America rose 6% and Goldman Sachs advanced 4.1%. Financials were the best-performing sector in the S&P 500, gaining more than 5%.
The energy sector turned negative in the afternoon amid volatility in crude oil. That volatility followed conflicting headlines from the OPEC+ meeting, where producers struggled to agree to a large output cut. The Wall Street Journal reported in the late afternoon that daily output in May and June will be reduced by ten million barrels. Crude oil ended the day lower by $2.30, or 9.1%, at $22.87/bbl.
Treasuries finished near their highs, sending the 10-yr yield lower by four basis points to 0.73%.
The U.S. Dollar Index fell 0.6% to 99.50, widening this week's loss to 1.0%.