Investors’ optimism that a federal stimulus package gets passed gave the Dow stock index its best single-day point increase in its 135-year history. Beleaguered investors and retirement account holders received good news Tuesday (March 24) as President Donald Trump and leaders in Congress made progress on an aid bill, leading stocks higher even though the legislation isn’t expected to get the President’s signature before Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average — an index of 30 blue-chip companies such as Caterpillar and Pfizer — rose 2,112.98 points to 20,704.91, still far from its pre-bear market high of 29,568.57 set Feb. 12. The S&P 500 rose 9.4%, it’s third-biggest percentage gain since World War II. The Nasdaq composite climbed 8.1%.
News of the stimulus also led some music stocks to huge rebounds on Tuesday. Concert promoter Live Nation leapt 15% to $42.94, its highest closing price since March 13. Two other promoters, The Madison Square Garden Company and CTS Eventim, improved 9.6% and 24.6%, respectively, to their highest closing prices since March 11.
Live event promoters have plenty to cheer about — within reason. Citi analyst Jason Bazinet upgraded Live Nation’s stock from “sell” to “neutral” while keeping a $35 price target that’s 22.7% below Tuesday’s closing price (yet only 6.7% below Monday’s closing price before the note was issued to investors). But liquidity might not be a problem: both Bazinet and Lightshed Partners analysts have argued Live Nation has enough cash and credit to meet short-term obligations.
Entertainment companies could benefit from a federal bailout of the U.S. airline industry that aids tourism to destination festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo; the hotel industry has also asked President Trump for help. But the deciding factor in live event promoters’ valuation is the COVID-19’s duration and effect on North America and Europe’s economies. McKinsey had forecasted new cases in Europe and the U.S. to peak in mid-April and that their economies will recover in the fourth quarter.
Goldman Sachs forecasted a 25% decline in the U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter. Deutsche Bank puts GDP contractions at 24% and 13% for Europe and the U.S., respectively.
But the stimulus package is the deciding factor here. On Tuesday, investors felt better about the future global economy than last week. The trillion-dollar question is how the federal government carries the country out of a recession.