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Markets continue their surge

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US markets surged higher on Thursday, closing up for the third day in a row as investors took comfort from the overnight passage of a historic $2 trillion economic stimulus bill by the Senate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1,351.62 points, or 6.38 percent, to 22,552.17 while the S&P 500 climbed 154.51 points, 6.24 percent, to 2,630.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 413.24 points or 5.6 percent, to close the session at 7,797.54.

European markets reversed their earlier losses and also rose, as the gains on Wall Street drove sentiment across the Atlantic. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index gained 2.6 percent, with Germany’s Dax rising 1.3 percent. The Italian FTSE MIB added 0.7 while Spain’s IBEX gained 1.3 percent.

Maltese markets also climbed, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 1.602 percent at 7,782.373 points. Malta International Airport Plc led the gains with shares jumping 14.16 percent to €5.00, followed by RS2 Software Plc which gained 5.71 percent to €1.85. Malita Investments Plc led the declines with shares down 2.5 percent at €0.78.

Ford announces budget plans

Ford Motor Co announced plans on Thursday to shore up its finances amid the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to generate more cash by resuming production next month of its most profitable vehicles while saving money through further cost cuts. To get more cash coming in, Ford said Thursday it would restart key plants, while introducing additional safety measures to protect returning workers from the coronavirus. It said it would detail the additional measures later.

Ford also took additional moves to conserve cash, announcing its top 300 executives would defer 20% to 50% of salaries for at least five months starting May 1, with the executive chairman deferring his entire salary.

“The actions we’re taking now are wide-ranging and substantial,” Chief Executive Jim Hackett told employees in an email early on Thursday. “We hope they will be enough to give Ford the financial flexibility to ride out the economic and business effects of the coronavirus.” Hackett will defer half his salary. Hackett said Ford’s goal was to avoid layoffs during the crisis, but warned that could change if the impact of the outbreak is more severe than anticipated.

This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.