Stock market live updates: Stocks set to rise again, Nasdaq futures hit limit up

Republican senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia are facing questions over their decision to sell large equity holdings before global markets began a historic plunge thanks to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold somewhere between $630,000 and $1.7 million worth of stock while Loeffler disclosed a string of sales that began on Jan. 24, the same day her committee hosted a private briefing about the virus.

In the three weeks after Jan. 24, Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, sold shares worth between $1.25 million and $3.1 million, according to government records. Sprecher is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and chairman and CEO of its holding company International Exchange. — Franck, Wilkie

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has risen above 10,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. On Thursday, Italy overtook China to be the world’s deadliest hot spot with 3,405 deaths registered. Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a statewide order for all residents to “stay at home” amid a coronavirus outbreak. The stay home order is in place till further notice. — Li

Oil extended gains on Friday, one day after surging more than 23% in its best day on record. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 4.6% to $26.39 per barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude gained 3.4%. Traders are hoping that stimulus measures announced worldwide will help curb the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. Recent gains notwithstanding, WTI is still on track for its worst month on record. —Stevens

Shares of technology companies such as Microsoft and Nvidia, up more than 4% each, climbed in premarket trading. The rise came as the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite headed for its second day gains, with Nasdaq-100 futures jumping almost 5%. The five “FAANG” stocks — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet— all rose as well. —Sheetz

The dollar index fell on Friday, weakening 0.6% to 102.16 after central bank actions. Still, the U.S. dollar is up about 3.5% this week against a basket of currencies as investors seek safety and liquidity in the world’s reverse currency. At its three-year peak of nearly 103 hit overnight, the dollar was up more than 5%, its biggest weekly gain since October 2008.

A strong dollar is difficult for U.S. exporters during this time of economic uncertainty. A weaker dollar makes it cheaper for people overseas to buy U.S.-made products, which helps U.S. companies. – Fitzgerald

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/stock-market-live-today.html

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