Wall Street closed at record highs on Wednesday as news that the coronavirus outbreak could be running out of steam kept buyers in the ring. Technology shares led the broad-based rally, which pushed all three major US stock averages to fresh highs. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have now set closing highs for three consecutive sessions. The Dow reached its most recent closing record on 6 February.

China reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks, the day after Beijing’s senior Chinese medical adviser said the epidemic could be over by April. The outbreak has spooked investors amid quarantines, supply-chain disruptions and factory shutdowns, and the World Health Organisation warned that the apparent slowdown in the epidemic’s spread should be viewed with ‘extreme caution.’

Market participants paid heed to US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he wrapped up his semiannual economic report before Congress, during which he said the central bank was closely monitoring the coronavirus and other threats. Indeed, Powell reiterated his confidence in the sustainability of the current US economic expansion, now in its 11th year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 274.46 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 29,550.8, the S&P 500 gained 21.63 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 3,379.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 87.02 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 9,725.96.


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