The Senate will vote on the rescue package later on Wednesday and the House of Representatives is expected to follow soon after. Wall Street also teetered, though the Dow industrials and S&P 500 mostly remained more than 1 per cent higher while the Nasdaq closed lower. The Federal Reserve and other central banks are also offering tremendous aid by cutting interest rates and supporting lending markets, but investors say they need to see the number of new infections peak before they can feel comfortable knowing how deep the looming economic downturn will be.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. topped 60,000 as of Wednesday noon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 61 new lows. Overall, more than 112,000 have recovered.
The Dow .DJI rose 2.7%, boosted by a 27% gain for Boeing Co BA.N , as sources said the planemaker planned to restart production of its grounded 737 MAX jet by May.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.More news: Two billion in lockdown as PM puts new restrictions in place
With widening swaths of the economy shutting down and layoffs mounting, economists are sure a steep drop-off is coming.
"People have to contend with the idea that the longer that lasts, the more people potentially are losing their job", said Yousef Abbasi, director of US institutional equities at INTL FCStone.
Some investors believed the stock market was overdue for a big bounce, having priced in a worst-case scenario regarding the economic damage being done by coronavirus-related shutdowns.
The uncertainty has carried over even to trading within a certain day or a certain hour.
NY futures were lower, with the contract for the S&P 500 down 0.7%, while that for the Dow fell 0.2%. Eastern time. Earlier in the morning, it was up as much as 2.2% and down as much as 1.6%. Royal Caribbean Cruises jumped 23% but is down 68.2% for the year.More news: Scarlett Johansson's BLACK WIDOW is now Slowly Turning into WHITE WIDOW
Another bright spot was Nike, one of many retailers whose global business has been hammered by the coronavirus outbreak but is helped by healthy online sales, according to the quarterly earnings report released on Tuesday. Germany's DAX was down 0.4%, and the French CAC 40 was up 2.3%.
Investors are hoping for Wall Street's first back-to-back gains in more than a month, one day after the Dow's biggest daily surge since the 1930s.
The planemaker has lost more than two-thirds of its value so far this year as the health crisis crimped travel demand, forcing it to seek $60 billion in US government loans for the aerospace industry.
Echoing the subdued trading in the stock market, Treasury yields were holding relatively steady.More news: Watch Crazy Trailer for Solar Opposites from Rick and Morty's Justin Roiland