Dow pops over 1,600 points on coronavirus slowdown, new stimulus hopes

A new round of fiscal stimulus could come by May

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U.S. equity markets soared late Monday on chatter that a new round of fiscal stimulus valued at $1.5 trillion could come by mid-May, as reported by FOX Business' Charlie Gasparino.

The report fueled a late-day surge that added to the strong gains that developed early in the session after new data showed COVID-19 could be slowing in some of the hardest-hit areas.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1,627 points or 7.7 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were higher by 7 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. It was the third-largest point gain for each.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29907.28-138.96-0.46%
SP500S&P 5003630.81-4.60-0.13%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12087.957377+51.17+0.43%

The number of new cases over the weekend in New York City, the U.S.’s epicenter for the virus, rose by 30.4 percent versus last week, down from a 46.1 percent jump the week prior.

As of Monday afternoon, the number of fatalities was effectively flat for the past two days.

President Trump said at a press conference on Sunday that while there was “light at the end of the tunnel” the next two weeks are going to be difficult. A daily update is set for 5 p.m. ET.

COVID-19 has infected nearly 352,546 people in the U.S. and killed 10,335, according to the latest figures provided by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. More than 18,999 people have recovered as of Monday afternoon.

Looking at stocks, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in the company’s annual shareholder letter released Monday that suspending the dividend for 2020 cannot be ruled out as the bank looks to conserve cash amid the pandemic. The big banks kick off earnings season next week.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.121.91-1.40-1.14%

Boeing announced production at plants in the Seattle area would remain suspended until further notice. Work was scheduled to resume later this week after being halted on March 23.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABOEING COMPANY218.31-0.17-0.08%

Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines were in focus after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said in a filing late Friday that it unloaded significant portions of its stakes in the two companies. Elsewhere in the space, American and United airlines cut more flights to the New York City area.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.41.07-0.20-0.48%
LUVSOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.47.99-0.26-0.54%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.14.86+0.04+0.24%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.45.38+0.42+0.93%

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Sunday evening that the tech giant has sourced 20 million masks to help aid in the fight against COVID-19. The company is also working to produce face shields for medical workers.

Zoom Video Communications was sharply lower after Credit Suisse downgraded shares, saying their current price was too optimistic for the amount of paid services that will be won from the recent spike in usage.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE INC.116.31+1.14+0.99%
ZMZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS INC.438.00+10.45+2.44%

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery pulled back 7.9 percent to $26.08 per barrel after Russia and Saudi Arabia postponed a virtual meeting to discuss production cuts. The energy component gained 31.75 percent last week, the most since recordkeeping began in March 1983, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group.

Meanwhile, gold climbed 2.6 percent to more than $1,677 per ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were under pressure, running the yield on the 10-year note to 0.675 percent.

Germany’s DAX led European markets higher, up 5.77 percent, while France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE gained 4.61 percent and 3.08 percent, respectively.

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Asian markets ended mixed as Japan’s Nikkei jumped 4.24 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2.21 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite was closed for holiday.