Stocks rose sharply for a second day Wednesday on optimism about the reopening of the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 336 points higher, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 gained nearly 1% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2%.
Carnival Corp. shares jumped 9.1% while United Airlines added nearly 10%. JPMorgan Chase was up 6% while Citigroup advanced 7.3%. Stocks that benefited from people staying at home struggled on Wednesday, with Zoom Video and Netflix dropping 4% and 1.2%, respectively.
“The market has been making a V-pattern upward and there’s been a tremendous amount of skepticism around that but we are just starting now to see some evidence in the data turning,” said Michael Darda, MKM Partners chief market strategist and chief economist. “Some better than expected housing numbers. As reopening gets underway, virtually all states now we are starting to see activity bounce off of very low levels.”
On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a sixth straight weekly rise in mortgage applications. Data released Tuesday showed new home sales in April topped estimates. Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased by 623,000 last month, beating estimates of 490,000, according to Dow Jones.
All 50 states in the U.S. have reopened their economies to some extent. On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the state would allow professional sports teams to resume practice and competitions.
“For the first time in this crisis, we are being bombarded by good news,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group told CNBC. “The S&P 500 finally breaks above its 200-day moving average (3000)” and “more new vaccine drugs look promising.”
Wall Street is coming off a massive rally on Tuesday, which saw the S&P 500 briefly break above its 200-day moving average for the first time since early March. Those gains came after biotech company Novavax said Monday it started the first human study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Those gains left the S&P 500 up more than 36% from its intraday low set on March 23. However, stocks’ recent strength — last week the Dow has its best week since early April — still leaves the Dow down more than 12% in 2020. The S&P 500 is off 7.4% for the year and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up more than 4%.
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