Stocks rally on economic recovery optimism, all 50 states partially open

Fed officials reiterate the damaging economic impact of the coronavirus

U.S. equity markets rallied Wednesday on prospects of the U.S. economy beginning its economic rebound with all 50 states now partially reopen.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34869.37 +71.37 +0.21%
SP500 S&P 500 4443.11 -12.37 -0.28%

Connecticut became the last state to begin reopening from coronavirus lockdowns, allowing retail, offices, outdoor restaurants and outdoor recreation activities to resume. Delaware, Kentucky and New Jersey also eased limits imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 369 points, or 1.52 percent, while the S&P 500 jumped 1.67 percent and the Nasdaq Composite rose over 2 percent, helped by big tech including Facebook which hit a record high.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14969.969964 -77.73 -0.52%
FB FACEBOOK, INC. 353.58 +0.62 +0.18%

Investors took cautious comments from the Federal Reserve's April minutes in stride after policymakers warned the coronavirus may carry "considerable risk" for the U.S. economy.

They also took in a bill passed by the U.S. Senate boosting oversight of companies based in China and elsewhere that could lead to their removal from American stock exchanges.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ICE INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE, INC. 118.64 -1.10 -0.92%
NDAQ NASDAQ, INC. 195.78 -1.00 -0.51%

Looking at stocks, Lowe’s comparable sales spiked 12.3 percent from a year ago as customers loaded up on essential items during the early days of the outbreak. A share price of $126.57 at the close would be the highest on record.

Big-box retailer Target, meanwhile, reported a 64 percent drop in first-quarter profit as higher operating costs offset a surge in sales.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LOW LOWE'S COS., INC. 210.63 +2.76 +1.33%
TGT TARGET CORP. 238.58 -2.86 -1.18%

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson said it will stop selling its talc-based baby powder once supplies run out due to declining demand for the product. The baby powder makes up about 0.5 percent of the company’s U.S. consumer health business.

Harley-Davidson is reopening factories this week and slimming down its product line in an effort to revive sales, according to The Wall Street Journal.

CVS Health will return $43 million received through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. The money was given to CVS through an automatic distribution by Health and Human Services.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 163.17 -1.19 -0.72%
HOG HARLEY-DAVIDSON, INC. 38.18 +0.23 +0.61%
CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 85.74 +1.03 +1.22%

Shares of Chinese beverage chain Luckin Coffee, which have been halted since April 7, resumed trading on Wednesday. The company announced on April 2 that its chief operating officer fabricated sales, and the Nasdaq exchange issued a delisting notice on Tuesday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LK n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

TRUMP GETS TOUGH ON CHINESE STOCKS IN CORONAVIRUS STANDOFF WITH BEIJING

Commodities rallied, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up 4.79 percent at $33.49 a barrel and gold climbing to $1,750.60.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note at 0.679 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE climbed 1.08 percent, Germany's DAX advanced 1.34 percent and France’s CAC added 0.87 percent.

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Asian markets were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei gaining 0.79 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edging up 0.05 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite sliding 0.51 percent.