The S&P 500 index closed out its best week since 1974 with another gain Thursday after the Federal Reserve launched its latest unprecedented effort to support the economy through the coronavirus outbreak, per the AP. (The stock market is closed on Friday to mark Good Friday.) For the day, the S&P 500 rose 29 points to 2,789; the Dow rose 285 points to 23,719; and the Nasdaq rose 62 points to 8,153. For the week, the S&P was up 12.1%, reports CNBC. In 1974, it rallied 14% in a week. The Dow also rose 12% for the week, one of its best ever weekly gains, and the Nasdaq jumped 10%.
The central bank’s announcement of programs to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to households, local governments, and businesses overshadowed a report that another 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. The Fed’s actions, as well as efforts by Congress, are aimed at alleviating the tremendous strains on the economy caused by the widespread business shutdowns and travel restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the virus. (Read more stock market stories.)