Dow posts more gains on Wall Street ahead of vote on rescue bill

March 25 (UPI) — U.S. markets opened mixed on Wednesday following a historic day in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its greatest single-day increase since 1933.

By 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial average had gained more than 400 points. The S&P 500 was up slightly and the Nasdaq had shed a few points.

The open follows a historic 2,100-point increase for the Dow on Tuesday, and a historic 8 percent gain for Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, its largest single-day gain since 2008. The Australian ASX index climbed more than 5 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up nearly 4 percent.

The surges were fueled mostly by news that the White House and Senate lawmakers agreed on a $2 trillion rescue package to stabilize the U.S. economy as the coronavirus crisis moves forward. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill when it reconvenes Wednesday, prompting more optimistic forecasts from prominent economists.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he expects a “very sharp” recession brought on by the disease followed by a quick rebound.

“If there’s not too much damage done to the workforce, to the businesses during the shutdown period, however long that may be, then we could see a fairly quick rebound,” he told CNBC.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said the impact will be “unparalleled,” but short-term.

“Once the virus goes away and if we play our cards right and keep everything intact, then everyone will go back to work and everything will be fine,” he said.

U.S. copes with COVID-19 pandemic

Beachgoers walk along the shoreline in Malibu on March 23. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti closed sports and recreation at L.A. city parks and closed parking at city beaches after seeing too many people in close proximity packing beaches, trails and parks. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo