• Trump signed a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill into law
  • U.S. durable goods orders plunged by 14.4% in March
  • Bank of Russia cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.5%

U.S. stocks closed higher in volatile trading on Friday as President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill into law.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 260.01 points to 23,775.27, while the S&P 500 rose 38.94 points to 2,836.74 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 139.77 points to 8,634.52.

For the week, the Dow fell 1.02%.

Friday’s volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 4.47 billion shares with 1,828 issues advancing, 14 setting new highs, and 1,137 declining, with 23 setting new lows.

Active movers were led by Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO), General Electric Co. (GE), and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD).

Trump signed a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill into law -- the package offers cash for small businesses and hospitals and will also fund Covid-19 testing.

“The market is getting used to the fact that maybe it’s going to be late May, maybe June,” before the economy can be re-opened, said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. “So the question underneath this market is whether there is enough stimulus, enough liquidity to continue to support this market structure.”

Deming added: “At this point the market appears to be OK with that, but if we all of a sudden get into the middle of May and it looks like it’s July or August [before a re-opening], that will be another issue for the market to deal with.”

Economic data was bad.

U.S. durable goods orders plunged by 14.4% in March, after rising by a revised 1.1% in February.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, tweeted: “Durable goods orders plummet more than 14% in March, second largest drop in history. Aircraft orders slid a jaw-dropping 295% as flights were canceled both at home and abroad. Orders for motor vehicles and parts were down more than 18%, as dealers and plants went into lockdown.”

On Friday, the Bank of Russia cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.5% and suggested more cuts were possible.

The central bank also slashed its gross domestic product forecasts – saying the economy will shrink by between 4% and 6% in 2020, then recover to expand by between 2.8% and 4.8% in 2021 and by 1.5% to 3.5% in 2022.

“The recent price action in global markets has highlighted the fragility of the risk rally in the face of deteriorating global economic data and weak commodity prices,” said Valentin Marinov, the head of G10 FX strategy at Credit Agricole CIB in London. “[But] the recent global monetary and fiscal stimulus measures have put a ‘floor’ under the risky assets.”

More than 2.7 million cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed around the world, with over 800,000 cases in the U.S.

Oil finished a wild and unprecedented week which saw WTI futures settle in negative territory on Monday for the first time in history.

“Looking ahead, it’s still all about demand for oil right now, and so far there is little evidence to support the idea that consumer growth is going to rebound anytime soon,” said Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report.

Overnight in Asia, markets finished lower. China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 1.06%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged down 0.61% and Japan’s Nikkei-225 fell 0.86%.

In Europe markets finished lower, as Britain’s FTSE-100 fell 1.28%, France’s CAC-40 tumbled 1.3% and Germany’s DAX slipped 1.69%.

Crude oil futures jumped 3.15% at $17.02 per barrel, Brent crude gained 1.65% at $25.22. Gold futures edged down 0.26%.

The euro edged up 0.35% at $1.0817 while the pound sterling rose 0.2% at $1.237.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped 2.77% to 0.596% while yield on the 30-year Treasury fell 2.24% to 1.177%.