Wall Street rebounded on Monday, after President Donald Trump announced the extension of the nation’s economic shutdown until April 30 at the earliest.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 680 points higher, while the S&P gained around 3.3 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also ticked up by around 3.6 percent, after Amazon, Microsoft, and other sector leaders performed well throughout the day.
Pharmaceutical companies saw some of the day’s largest stock gains, on news that there could be a vaccine for coronavirus.
In the meantime, investors were optimistic that nationwide lockdown measures will halt the spread of the virus, thereby limiting its longer-term impact on the economy.
However, all three major averages are likely facing a volatile week, with a raft of economic data set to be released, including the consumer confidence index on Tuesday, weekly jobless claims on Thursday, and the monthly unemployment numbers on Friday.
A historic plunge in demand for crude oil has pushed down the price of oil to just $20 a barrel, with fewer planes flying and cars driving, coupled with an ongoing price war between mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.
“The outbreak has impacted financial markets with a swiftness and ferocity normally seen only in a classic financial crisis,” wrote Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, in his annual chairman’s letter to shareholders.
“The world will get through this crisis. The economy will recover. And for those investors who keep their eyes not on the shaky ground at our feet, but on the horizon ahead, there are tremendous opportunities to be had in today’s markets,” he added.
Despite the largest ever number of weekly jobless claims in history, Wall Street rallied last week, with the Dow posting its biggest weekly gain since 1938. However, the first three months of 2020 are still on track be the worst performing quarter since 2008.