Stocks moved higher as Wall Street rested its hopes on President Donald Trump easing lockdowns put in place to stem the tide of the COVID-19 outbreak, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.

The Top Story

White House adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump will make a number of announcements about reopening the U.S. economy in the next day or two as the coronavirus health crisis appears to be ebbing.

That gave Wall Street some hope that the economy could get back on track soon and optimistic investors pushed stocks higher.

U.S. stock markets have recovered in the past month after slumping more than 30% from their February record highs, supported by a raft of monetary and fiscal stimulus, and early signs of a plateauing in the number of coronavirus cases.

However, S&P 500 firms are still off about $4.7 trillion in market value and analysts have warned of a torrid earnings season as the containment measures ground business activity to a shuddering halt.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) reversed early gains to drop 2.7% and 4% respectively, as first-quarter profits plunged with both banks setting aside billions of dollars to cover potential loan losses from the pandemic.

The Dow Jones rose 2.4%. The S&P 500 moved 3% higher, and the Nasdaq Composite posted a nearly 4% gain.

Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 2,846 (+3%)
DOW: 23,949 (+2.4%)
NASDAQ: 8,515 (+3.9%)
GOLD: $1,753 (-0.4%)
BITCOIN: $6,924.01 (+1.1%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.74% (unchanged)

*- as of 4:19 p.m.

A Big Win

This morning, we told you to watch Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) as the company beat quarterly profit and earnings forecasts. The company bested profits by $0.30 per share but did pull back its full-year guidance. Shares of Johnson & Johnson rose 4.3%

We also put Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) on the watch list after the company increased its iPhone shipments by 19% thanks to increased production in China. Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones in March, compared to 500,000 in February. Shares jumped 5%.

Shares of Roku Inc. (Nasdaq: ROKU) moved 10.3% higher after the digital media player manufacturer also beat Wall Street sales estimates.

Golden Nuggets

Gold and silver prices remained bullish, even with an upturn in U.S. equities markets, as recession fears linger.

Gold futures stalled, though, trading 0.4% lower at $1,753 an ounce. Silver futures jumped 3% to $16 an ounce.

Platinum was the biggest mover of the day as futures were up 9% to $817 an ounce, while palladium was 0.8% higher to $2,188.20 an ounce.

Cannabis Corner

The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing marijuana investor Douglas Leighton, alleging stock manipulation involving Denver-based cannabis company MassRoots.

Leighton and other defendants are accused of buying 90% of MassRoots in a private offering, then turning around and pushing the company to go public, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

The SEC alleges the defendants “made approximately $3.2 million from their scheme,” and they “continued to profit from their sales of MassRoots stock through 2018.

Unemployment as High as 20% a Real Possibility

On Thursday, we’ll get a better picture of the state of U.S. unemployment. That’s when the Department of Labor will release the latest employment outlook

Economists are projecting an additional 5.5 million people filed jobless claims last week, which would push the four-week total to more than 22 million, according to Bloomberg. That means one-in-eight Americans would be out of work — wiping out nearly all the job gains since the 2008-09 recession.

Unemployment claims are expected to stay in the millions in the coming weeks, meaning a 20% — or higher — jobless rate is possible. Claims could stay at that level as the federal government struggles to get money from a stimulus package to households and businesses.

“What we have right now is a race between the virus wreaking havoc on the economy, and the relief trying to get out,” Claudia Sahm, director of macroeconomic policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, told Bloomberg.

Today’s Big Winners:

Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) +9%

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) +8.6%

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) +5%

Today’s Big Losers:

Devon Energy Group (NYSE: DVN) -6.1%

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) -4.2%

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) -2.8%

Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.