After two days of range trading, equities rocketed higher on Monday, helping to recover from the pullback last week, as the tally of fresh coronavirus cases in the U.S. appeared to diminish in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied as much as 1,200 points higher, or more than 5.5% by 2 PM EST, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed roughly 5.4% apiece.
Investors were feeling a sense of relief as data that shows a slowing in the number of daily U.S. coronavirus cases, although it is still premature to confirm a lasting trend. There were about 30,000 new cases on Thursday, 32,100 cases on Friday, 33,260 thousand cases on Saturday, and then a slowing to just 28,200 new cases Sunday, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins.
New York State reported 594 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, fewer than 630 on Saturday, marking the first daily drop-in coronavirus-related deaths, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Incoming data suggest NY state might peak sooner than Cuomo’s optimistic case,” Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, said in a note to clients. “With better visibility on the healthcare crisis in the US, particularly, on the potential to model a national peak, we believe buyers are now taking control.”
With Americans sheltering in place in many states now, some analysts are hopeful that the pandemic may be curtailed faster than first anticipated.
“I am beginning to get optimistic,” said Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman in a tweet on Sunday. “Cases appear to be peaking in NY. Almost the entire country is in shutdown.”
There are also hopes in Europe that the coronavirus outbreak could be slowing, as the number of fresh infections and deaths has begun to slow down, according to data over the weekend.
The figures are encouraging European leaders to examine a potential exit strategy from national lockdowns while urging the public to maintain discipline, something that President Trump has been trying to get accomplished for some time now as well.