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Dow jumps 170 points, continuing Wall Street's coronavirus recovery

US stocks continued a modest recovery on Friday from their coronavirus-fueled crash as investors started to take solace in government efforts to assuage the pandemic’s economic damage.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed as much as 347.11 points, or 1.7 percent, at the open after gaining 1 percent Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 1 percent in early trading, while the Nasdaq composite saw a stronger 1.9 percent jump.

The barrage of central bank actions aimed at shoring up the economy appeared to finally encourage investors Friday amid a brutal downturn sparked by escalating fears about the coronavirus plunging the world into a recession.

“The shoulder-launched artillery barrage from the worlds’ central banks and government treasuries seems to have stopped the rot sweeping the global economy for now,” Jeffrey Halley, senior currency analyst at OANDA, wrote in a commentary.

But Wall Street is still on track to close the week deep in the red. The Dow shed 3,098.43 points, or 13.3 percent, this week through Thursday as it posted a record point loss and closed below 20,000 for the first time in three years. The S&P was off 11.1 percent for the week while the Nasdaq was down about 9.2 percent.

Markets could remain volatile as the coronavirus continues to spread across the US and Europe and Congress crafts a $1 trillion fiscal stimulus package to help stanch the economic bleeding. The number of Americans applying for unemployment claims is expected to skyrocket as the pandemic forces businesses to lay off workers, with Goldman Sachs predicting 2.25 million.

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