NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street climbed to its first gain in three days after strengthening oil prices revived beaten-down energy stocks. The S&P rose 2.3% and benchmark U.S. oil jumped nearly 25% following a tweet from President Donald Trump saying he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to dial down their price war. Meanwhile, millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as businesses shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P rose 56.40 to 2,526.90. The Dow gained 469.93, or 2.2%, to 21,413.44, and the Nasdaq rose 126.73, or 1.7%, to 7,487.31.
DUBAI (AP) — President Donald Trump says he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia will dramatically cut production and end an oil war that sent energy prices plummeting. But the Kremlin disputed part of his tweet, leading to skepticism that a deal was imminent. A global glut in production, coupled with an economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, has sent energy prices to lows not seen since 2002. Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, just days after talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the matter. Low crude prices make many drilling operations in the U.S. unsustainable, and in response companies have announced thousands of layoffs.
UNDATED (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak has triggered a stunning collapse in the U.S. workforce, with 10 million people losing their jobs in the past two weeks. Estimates for the first waves of job losses in the U.S. related to the outbreak were all over the map. The actual number blew all of those estimates away today. The Department of Labor reported more than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week.
UNDATED (AP) — Southwest Airlines drew down $2.33 billion from an existing credit agreement, according to a regulatory filing today. It also plans to apply for a share of $25 billion in federal grants to cover airline payroll costs for the next six months. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, companies have accessed credit lines for almost $155 billion through March 27. The consumer discretionary sector, which includes auto manufacturers, travel and tourism companies and retailers, led the way. GM and Ford were the biggest borrowers, each tapping more than $15 billion in credit.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings when leaving home in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. They would apply at least to those who live in areas hard-hit by community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force's discussion said officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home.