Global Equities Continue to Ride Pandemic Recovery Hopes Higher

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Global Equities Continue to Ride Pandemic Recovery Hopes Higher

Stocks are rallying as investors focus on reopenings across the country, hints that the U.S. is considering cash incentives to get people back to work, and news of economic stimulus in both Europe and Asia.

In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 309 points, or 1.2%, at 25,304. The S&P 500 was up 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite was near the break-even line.

In an interview with Fox Business, Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council, acknowledged that Republican lawmakers were considering paying jobless workers a $450-a-week bonus to urge them to return to their positions, rather than relying on unemployment benefits, which were increased in March.

“Investors continue to ignore the macro and geopolitical news, as massive liquidity being provided by the Fed strengthen the markets near term technical outlook,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital, in a note to clients.

In Europe, the EU’s executive arm has proposed a €750 billion ($825 billion) recovery fund to help the bloc manage the coronavirus pandemic fallout, commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said Wednesday. But members remain divided over the makeup of that package and valuable time could be lost in weeks of wrangling.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.8%, with the German DAX climbing 2% after Tuesday’s solid gains. Banks, travel and tourism stocks were all sprinting ahead. Germany is expected to join Spain in easing travel restrictions for some countries, in an announcement that could come as soon as Wednesday.

Asian shares had a mixed day, with gains for the Nikkei 225 index higher after Japan approved a $1.1 trillion stimulus plan, but losses for the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng Index. The White House said Hong Kong’s status as a global financial center could be at risk by China’s plans for a new security law.

Oil ticked down slightly. WTI crude falling 1.1% to $33.98 a barrel and Brent falling 1.5% to $35.64 a barrel.

Macy’s (ticker: M) shares climbed 13% after saying Tuesday that it plans to raise $1.1 billion in a bond offering backed by its real-estate holdings to pay back money it borrowed under its revolving credit facility.

Walt Disney (DIS) shares gained 1.8% after announcing that it plans to submit a proposal for the phased reopening of its Florida parks. Disney began reopening its parks in Shanghai earlier this month.

Boeing (BA) shares were up 2.9% after it was reported that the plane manufacturer plans to announce 2,500 voluntary layoffs this week. This would be the initial phase of a plan to cut 10% of Boeing’s workforce.

Write to Barbara Kollmeyer at bkollmeyer@marketwatch.com and Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com