Wall Street’s three major indexes shot upward boosted by surging oil prices and as Congress moved a step closer to another $500 billion in aid for small businesses amid the pandemic, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
After this week’s utter collapse in oil prices, U.S. crude benchmark and Brent prices surged higher today, trading up 40% at its peak. West Texas Intermediate rose $2.21, or 19.1%, to settle in at $13.78 a barrel after trading as low as $10.26. It had jumped 40% earlier in the session to a high of $16.20.
Brent Crude broke below $16 a barrel before settling in at $20.37, up 5.4%.
Congress also is on course to seal the deal on $500 billion more in aid to help small businesses and their employees ride out the coronavirus pandemic, and the House is expected to clear the bill Thursday before sending it to the president’s desk for his signature.
“The (stimulus) response times have been way faster than what you saw in 2008. What you’re seeing is the tail risk removal that stops the equity downturn and allows the market to actually look,” said Anik Sen, global head of equities at PineBridge Investments in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 456 points, or 2%.
The S&P 500 rose 2.3% on the back of the surging oil prices and the new stimulus, but is still about 17% below its record high set Feb. 19 amid state-wide shutdowns and layoffs that have sent unemployment above 22 million in a matter of weeks.
The next jobs report is due Thursday and an estimated 5.5 million more people are projected to be out of work, at least temporarily.
In addition, analysts have drastically cut their S&P 500 earnings projections, expecting a full-blown corporate recession for the year, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
“I think this earnings season is really going to be a function of which companies and which industries are holding up … and are able to withstand the decline in this market and to ride it out,” said Nancy Perez, senior portfolio manager at Boston Private Wealth in Miami.
The Nasdaq posted the biggest jump of the day, rising 2.8% as the darling of the pandemic, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), rose another 1.5% to $2,363.49 a share, about $20 under its all-time record high.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 2,799 (+2.3%)
DOW: 23,475 (+2%)
NASDAQ: 8,495 (+2.8%)
GOLD: $1,736.90 (+2.9%)
BITCOIN: $7,108.50 (+3.3%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.616% (+0.045)
*- as of 4:12 p.m. EDT
A Big Win
This morning we told you to be on the lookout for Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) and the social media company had a monster day, rising 36.6%. Snap is the parent company of Snapchat, which saw a 20% jump in active users from last year.
Gold futures prices jumped 2.9% to $1,736.90 by 4:15 p.m. today as most major precious metals saw big increases.
“This is the perfect storm for gold… Perpetual buyer is buying gold because of all the global stimulus going on,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.
In addition, silver futures moved up 2.8% to $15.29 while copper rose 2.3% to $2.42, and platinum rose 1.8% to $772.30.
The lone laggard was palladium, which was down 1.1% to $1,886.20.
The World Health Organization warned world leaders that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon and will be around for the foreseeable future.
“Make no mistake, we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference.
The WHO said social distancing measures have helped greatly slow the spread of the virus, but it remains “extremely dangerous” and that “most of the world’s population remains susceptible,” which could “reignite” outbreaks.
“People in countries with stay-at-home orders are understandably frustrated with being confined to their homes for weeks on end. People understandably want to get on with their lives,” he said. “But the world will not and can not go back to the way things were. There must be a new normal.”
Today’s Big Winners:
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) +36.7%
BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) +26.6%
Avid Bioservices Inc. (Nasdaq: CDMO) +16.7%
Today’s Big Losers:
L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) -15.5%
Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) -12.7%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.