U.S. stock futures hit their 5% "limit up" levels Tuesday as top Senate and White House officials neared a $2 trillion deal to rescue the economy from the coronavirus crisis. The exchange-traded fund that tracks the Dow, which has no curbs, was up just over 5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 582 points or 3.1% on Monday after the Senate failed for a second time in less than 24 hours to advance the stimulus bill. Investors were more concerned about talks on Capitol Hill than encouraged by the Federal Reserve's announcement Monday of an open-ended asset purchase program. As of Monday's close, the lowest since November 2016, the Dow was down 37% from its record highs last month.
Senate Democrats expressed optimism about reaching a relief deal from the coronavirus crisis after negotiations with Trump administration officials stretched late into the night. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks were set to resume Tuesday morning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came out with House Democrats' $2.5 trillion bill. Also on Monday, President Donald Trump suggested he wants to urge businesses to reopen, sooner rather than later. "I'm not looking at months," the president said.
As Trump considers relaxing some coronavirus restrictions, the U.K. issued a stay-at-home order, starting Tuesday, allowing only essential trips. All nonessential public buildings and places are closed, ranging from libraries to churches, outdoor gyms and playgrounds. All social events including weddings and baptisms are also prohibited. In China, the two-month lockdown of most of Hubei province was lifted. However, Wuhan, the city in the province where the coronavirus originated in December, remains locked down until April 8.
Global coronavirus cases approached 384,000 with 16,594 deaths and nearly 102,000 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University data. China, at about 81,500 cases, has just 21% of the infections around the world as the spread in European nations and the United States continued to spike higher. Italy, the hardest-hit country outside China, saw cases rise to nearly 64,000. The death toll in Italy of 6,077 was nearly double that of China and the highest in the world. Cases in America increased to 46,450 with 593 deaths. Nearly half the U.S. cases and the highest U.S. death toll of 188 were in New York state.
Top U.S. airlines are working on plans for a possible voluntary shutdown of nearly all U.S. passenger flights, industry and federal officials told The Wall Street Journal. The government was also talking about ordering such a move, the Journal said. The carriers and the White House have made no final decisions.Demand for air travel has plummeted as many states have issued formal stay-at-home orders or just encouraged people not to leave their homes. Social-distancing has become the new way of life as the world grapples with containing the coronavirus pandemic.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.