All three main indexes – the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq – fell between 1 per cent and 2.2 per cent in early trade on Friday. But hopes of aid for the airline industry helped lift shares at mid-day. The Dow closed down just 0.48 per cent, the BBC reported.
Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi said relief for airlines was “imminent”.
While she had previously called for a comprehensive aid bill, she said Congress was now prepared to advance support focused on the airlines, which warned this week they were moving forward with plans to cut more than 30,000 jobs.
“We will either enact… stand-alone legislation or achieve this as part of a comprehensive negotiated relief bill, extending for another six months the Payroll Support Program,” Pelosi said in a statement. “As relief for airline workers is being advanced, the airline industry must delay these devastating job cuts.”
United Airlines and American Airlines, the two firms that ad announced massive cuts, shot into positive territory following the comments, ending the day up more than 2 per cent.
The gains helped lift shares more widely with the exception of the Nasdaq. The Dow Jones closed 0.48 per cent lower, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.9 per cent, and the tech-focused Nasdaq fell 2.2 per cent.
In London, the FTSE 100 index recovered from falls early in the day, closing up nearly 0.4 per cent at 5,902.1. In France, the Cac-40 ended essentially flat, while Germany’s Dax index fell 0.3 per cent.