Dow surges, S&P flirts with bear-market exit

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Wealth Enhancement Group senior vice president Nicole Webb says investors who stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus are taking control of their investments.

U.S. equity markets soared for a second straight day Tuesday as COVID-19 continued to show signs of moderating in some of the so-called hot spots, putting the S&P 500 on track to exit its bear market.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 382 points, or 1.7 percent, in the opening minutes of trading while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were higher by 1.1 percent and 0.43 percent, respectively.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 23184.22 +504.23 +2.22%
SP500 S&P 500 2708.96 +45.28 +1.70%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 7978.124393 +64.89 +0.82%

While all three major averages pared initial gains, the increases are still lifting the S&P 500 out of the bear market that began on March 12. The index needs to close above 2684.88 to officially exit.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed further signs of slowing with the number of new cases and deaths in New York and New Jersey declining for a second day.

The major averages all gained at least 7 percent on Monday amid signs the virus may be slowing and word of a stimulus plan that could reach $1.5 trillion.

Looking at stocks, oil major Exxon Mobil slashed 2020 capital expenditures by 30 percent, following peers Chevron and Shell in reducing spending.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION 42.50 +2.03 +5.02%
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 83.89 +3.50 +4.36%

Carnival Cruise Line saw strong gains for a second day after Saudi Arabia’s investment fund purchased an 8 percent stake on Monday.

Boeing announced production at its 787 plant in South Carolina will be temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. The planemaker suspended its operations in the Seattle area on Sunday because of the virus.

Food producer Kraft Heinz said increased demand due to COVID-19 will lead to 3 percent net sales growth in the first quarter.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 11.98 +1.77 +17.34%
BA BOEING COMPANY 155.18 +6.41 +4.31%
M MACY’S INC. 6.23 +0.60 +10.71%

Macy’s CFO Paula Price will leave the company effective May 31 and will stay on as an adviser through November. A search for her replacement is underway.

Commodities rallied, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures up 0.7 percent at $26.25 a barrel and gold futures for June delivery down by 0.3 percent at $1,693 an ounce.

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U.S. Treasurys were under pressure, causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb by 6.7 basis points to 0.745 percent.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX surged 3.7 percent and France’s CAC spiked 2.9 percent. The FTSE in Britain, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was placed in intensive care on Monday due to his battle with COVID-19, rose 3.1 percent.

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Asian markets rallied across the board, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbing 2.12 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite gaining 2.06 percent. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 2.01 percent as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a $1 trillion stimulus package.

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