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Thursday, February 22, 2024

NY Stock Exchange reopens as US closes in on 100,000 dead

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange reopened in a largely symbolic step toward economic recovery, and stocks surged at the opening bell, even as the official U.S. death toll from the coronavirus closed in on 100,000, a mark President Donald Trump once predicted the country would never see.

With infections mounting rapidly in places like Brazil and India, a top global health official warned that the crisis around the world is far from over.

The NYSE trading floor in lower Manhattan opened for the first time in two months, though with plexiglass barriers, masks and a reduced number of traders to adhere to the 6-foot social-distancing rules. Those entering the NYSE will have their temperatures taken and were asked to avoid public transportation.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has presided over the state with the highest death toll from the scourge, rang the bell to set off trading.

“They didn’t reopen the way it was,” he said during his daily briefing. “They reopened smarter.”

Stocks surged in morning trading, driving the S&P 500 to its highest level in 2 1/2 months on rising hopes for an economy recovery. The S&P 500 was up 2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 660 points, or 2.7%.

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