Stocks & Index ETFs Rally As Experts Express Optimism On Coronavirus

Stocks are moving higher Tuesday after slumping Monday, amid hopes of reopening the United States as the coronavirus pandemic heads toward a peak and potential decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced over 500 points, or 2.3% as of 1230pm EST, while the S&P 500 rallied 2.6%, and  the Nasdaq Composite led the three benchmarks with a 3.4% move higher. A 3% climb in tech, consumer discretionary and consumer staples helped drive the S&P 500 above recent highs. Meanwhile Amazon, which performed well on Monday climbed another almost 4.5% to an all-time high, pushing the Nasdaq higher.

There was a pullback earlier in the session after a strong open, but stocks are attempting to test that initial high in early afternoon trading.

“When you look at the facts, I think there’s reason to be more hopeful than we have been,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said. “The worst-case scenario’s been taken off the table, and if Apple and Google can do contact tracing that we all embrace … while we continue to roll out more testing, the economy could reopen a lot sooner than we thought even, say, three weeks ago.”

Stock Index ETFs are following equity markets higher as well, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) climbing 2.52%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) rallying 2.27%, and the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) leading the other stock index ETFs with a 3.93% move higher.

While the number of cases of the coronavirus continues to mount, with data from Johns Hopkins University showing there are more than 1.9 million cases around the world, including over 582,000 in the U.S., analysts and politicians are expressing a more optimistic perspective.

“Financial markets have started to take a more positive view of the outlook,” said Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, in a note. “The initial improvement was mostly policy-driven, but the greater optimism
of the past week seems to be at least partly related to the virus itself. ”

“To be clear, the health situation remains very bad in absolute terms, especially in the US which is now ahead of Italy and Spain in terms of coronavirus-related fatalities (though still much lower on a per-capita basis).”

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