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Here’s what happened to the stock market on Wednesday


Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Dow Jones Industrial Average soars 1,173 points

The Dow rallied 1,173.45 points, or 4.53%, to 27,090.86. The S&P 500 jumped 4.22% to 3,130.12. The Nasdaq Composite also surged 3.85% to 9,018.09. Stocks enjoyed a relief rally on victories from former Vice President Joe Biden during Super Tuesday.

Healthcare stocks jump on Biden win

Biden’s performance put him ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in delegates, soothing some of Wall Street’s fears about the Vermont senator’s policy proposals. Sanders has vowed to take on the pharmaceutical industry and his biggest proposal, “Medicare for All,” would end private health insurance.

Health care stocks rallied in unison on the Biden news. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF  traded more than 5% higher. UnitedHealth and Centene jumped 10.72% and 15.60%, respectively. Shares of UnitedHealth had their biggest one-day gain since 2008.

Fiscal spending to fight coronavirus

Investors also cheered the news that lawmakers struck a deal on more than $8 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The move follows the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut on Tuesday. The Fed’s extraordinary cut was the first such emergency action coming between scheduled meetings since the financial crisis in 2008.

What happens next?

Investors will look for any news on the fast-spreading coronavirus. On the data front, weekly jobless claims are scheduled to be released Thursday morning.

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