Stocks made some big moves on Thursday, to finish a solid week of gains going into the holiday weekend after the Federal Reserve provided additional details on how it will bolster the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The S&P 500 added 1.5% to close at 2,789.82 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 285.80 points, or 1.2%, to 23,719.37. The Nasdaq Composite meanwhile finished 0.8% higher at 8,153.58, and the U.S. stock market will be closed Friday due to Good Friday.
Stock Index ETFs are following equity markets higher as well, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) up 1.52%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) climbing 1.2%, and the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) just barely finishing positive with a 0.14% gain.
For the week, the markets continued on their significant rally from the lows last month, as the S&P 500 exploded an additional 12.1% this week. That was its biggest one-week gain since 1974 when it rallied more than 14%. The Nasdaq had its best week since 2009 as well, climbing 10.6%. The Dow was no slouch either, gaining over 12% for one of its biggest weekly gains on record.
In addition to feeling more optimistic due to the Fed’s explanations, markets are also looking toward a potential decline in the number or coronavirus cases, which up until now have continued to mount.
“It’s been a strong week in equities and probably for good reason,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “Many stocks were widely considered to be in oversold, and then you’ve got policy assistance that’s in motion at the Fed and in fiscal policy.”
“That’s clearly helping sentiment, but we still find it difficult to get overly bullish when the duration of COVID-19 remains unknown,” Sandven added.
The coronavirus pandemic has now spread to nearly 1.6 million people, has killed over 91,000, which includes more than 450,000 cases in the United States alone, where more than 16,000 people have died.
Recently, however, the number of new daily confirmed cases has dropped worldwide and New York has also reported a decline in its virus-related hospitalization rate, giving U.S. investors hope.
Still, some analysts are expressing caution, as this rally has happened almost as quickly as the bear market decline that led up to it.
“The stock market is at a very uncertain point now. The impact of the coronavirus on future earnings is yet to be determined. We aren’t out of the woods,” said Nancy Davis, chief investment officer at Quadratic Capital.