Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY,

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7:31 am: Mortgage applications tank 29% as coronavirus sidelines homebuyers

An increase in interest rates, combined with a massive shutdown of the economy caused homeowners and potential homebuyers to back away from the mortgage market. Total mortgage application volume fell 29.4% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. “Several factors pushed rates higher, including increased secondary market volatility, lenders grappling with capacity issues and backlogs in their pipelines, and remote work staffing challenges,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. – Olick

7:30 am: Airlines surge on coronavirus stimulus package

Airline stocks rallied in premarket trading on Wednesday after the White House and Senate agreed on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill would “stabilize key national industries” to prevent as many layoffs as possible. Airline stocks have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus as travel has slowed. Shares of American Airlines jumped 9% in premarket trading, after gaining 34% on Tuesday. United and Delta Air Lines rose more than 9%, after gaining 34% and 25%, respectively, on Tuesday. – Fitzgerald

7:15 am: Stock futures point to mixed picture at the open

The much awaited $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill got the greenlight early Wednesday morning, and the Street cheered the progress, sending Dow futures higher and pointing to an 800-point rally at the open. But gains started to fade around 7 a.m. ET, and futures turned negative. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is set to open 83 points lower. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are also poised for modest losses at the open.

Stocks staged a historic rally on Tuesday, with the Dow gaining 11.37% in its best day since 1933, and its fifth best day in history. The 30-stock index’s 2,112.98 point gain was its largest on record. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 9.38% in its best day since Oct. 2008.

Driving the gains was the hope that Congress was close to agreeing to a stimulus bill. The deal, which the White House and Senate leaders eventually agreed to early Wednesday, is a massive $2 trillion relief bill — said to be the largest rescue package in American history — to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Senate has yet to release the final terms of the deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote and pass the legislation later Wednesday.

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