NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks surged on Monday (Mar 2), staging a dramatic comeback after an historically bad week as markets cheered news that global finance heavyweights plan a coordinated response to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1,293.96 points (5.09 per cent) to end the day at 26,703.32 after the index shed more than 12 per cent last week.
The broad-based S&P 500 bounced back 136.01 points (4.60 per cent) to finish at 3,090.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 384.80 points (4.49 per cent) to 8,952.16.
Stocks slumped last week as the virus spread to more countries, raising the prospect of the sort of lockdowns that have brought parts of China to a halt.
Globally the death toll has topped 3,000 and includes six fatalities in the United States, all in Washington state.
US stocks were in the green most of the day, but trading was hesitant in stretches, in the wake of news of the first confirmed case in New York city.
But stocks had a strong finish to the session following the announcement that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will lead a conference call with their G7 counterparts on how to respond to the virus.
"It's been an extremely oversold market and there's expectations for all kinds of fiscal and monetary easing," said Karl Haeling of LBBW.
Analysts expressed caution about what lies ahead given the uncertainty over the virus and how it could weaken economic activity.
A US survey of manufacturers released on Monday showed weaker than expected activity due to coronavirus, with more impact expected.
The winners on Wall Street were fairly broad-based with all 30 members of the Dow finishing positive. The biggest gainers included Apple, up 9.3 per cent, Walmart, up 7.6 per cent, UnitedHealth, up 7.2 per cent and Microsoft, up 6.7 per cent.
But many travel stocks remained pressured, including American Airlines, down 1.0 per cent, United Airlines, down 0.5 per cent, and cruise companies Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line, which dropped 1.2 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.