Dow jumps more than 600 points after Wall Street’s biggest rout since 2008

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Stocks rallied on Tuesday as Wall Street clawed back some of the massive losses suffered in the previous session. Bets on government intervention to stem the economic downturn from the coronavirus lifted equities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 600 points higher, or 2.6%. The S&P 500 climbed 2.4% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.6%. 

Exxon Mobil and Chevron led the way higher for the Dow, climbing 8.9% and 6.4%, respectively. Energy was the best-performing sector in the S&P 500, gaining about 6%. Marathon Oil was the biggest advancer in the broad index, trading 24% higher. 

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all rose more than 1.8%. Delta an American Airlines gained 2.5% and 3%, respectively, after announcing they will cut flights as the coronavirus spread dents travel demand.

President Donald Trump floated on Monday the idea of “a payroll tax cut or relief” to offset the negative impact from the coronavirus. The potential tax incentives come on top of an $8.3 billion spending package Trump signed last week.

However, administration officials told CNBC that the White House is not close to rolling out specific proposals to deal with a coronavirus-induced economic slowdown. Stock futures pared gains on the news. 

“While we believe that a fiscal stimulus package will be produced, the timing and scope remain uncertain,” said Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst at Raymond James, in a note. “When asked about the potential for a fiscal package, some Republican leaders on the Hill signaled that they believe these actions to be premature and key Congressional Democrats arguing that there are more immediate priorities over tax cuts and plan to introduce their own package in coming days.”

The market suffered a historic sell-off on Monday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 plunging 7.8% and 7.6%, respectively, both posting their worst day since 2008. The Dow’s 2,013-point drop was also the biggest-ever point drop for the 30-stock average.

The deep stock rout put the record-long bull market in jeopardy. As of Monday’s close, the S&P 500 was 19% below its intraday all-time high of 3,393.52 from Feb.19. The benchmark would fall into bear market territory if it slumps 20% from its peak or more.

“We have repriced across the board,” said Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates trading at AmeriVet Securities. “Things have simply moved a lot. And we are not suggesting this move is over, yet comparisons to prior periods in time given the magnitude of the moves is understood but may be misleading.”

Oil prices move higher

Meanwhile, oil prices saw some respite early Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 9% at $33.93 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude futures added 9.3% at $37.55 per barrel.

That came after a shocking all-out oil price war roiled markets already on edge about the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus. Oil posted its worst day since 1991, with the WTI plunging more than 24% Monday, after Saudi Arabia slashed crude selling prices for April following the collapse in OPEC talks.

Monday’s monster sell-off triggered a key market circuit breaker that resulted in a 15-minute pause in trading early in the session.

Investors sought out on Monday safer assets amid additional fears that the coronavirus will disrupt global supply chains and tip the economy into a recession. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped below 0.5% for the first time ever, while the 30-year rate breached 1%. At one point early Monday, the 10-year slid to 0.318%.

Treasury yields rebounded on Tuesday, with the 10-year rate hovering above 0.7% while the 2-year yield traded at 0.48%. The 30-year bond yield climbed back above 1% to trade at 1.232%.

—CNBC’s Eustance Huang and Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

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Correction: This story was revised to correct when Trump signed the $8.3 billion package. It was last week.

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