NEW YORK: Hopes that the economy-crushing coronavirus pandemic might be easing sent Wall Street climbing sharply on Monday (Apr 6), with all three main indices higher at the close of trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average powered 1,627.46 points higher, a gain of 7.73 per cent, to close at 22,679.99 after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the death rate in the hardest-hit US state was "effectively flat" for the past two days even as he extended a lockdown until the end of the month.
The broad-based S&P 500 closed at 2,663.68, a gain of 7.03 per cent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq won 7.33 per cent to finish at 7,913.24.
Over the weekend, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that this week "is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives," but President Donald Trump struck a different tone earlier on Monday, tweeting, "LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!"
That seemed to cheer investors, along with news of declining death rates in Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
"It's going up on hopes that perhaps we're reaching a peak in this coronavirus," Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities said of the markets.
Wall Street has had several bruising weeks as the virus took its toll on human lives and the economy. But Cardillo said the more upbeat news encouraged investors holding cash to jump in.
"It's all based on hopes right now, but the market caved in so much is that we're seeing the investors go on a bargain hunt spree," he said.
Hurt by evaporating demand for air travel, Boeing was among Monday's winners, with its shares up 19.5 per cent.
Visa gained 11.6 per cent, while American Express rose 14 per cent.
However, oil continued its slump after a teleconference of major producers to discuss a production cut was pushed to Thursday.
West Texas Intermediate fell to US$26.29 per barrel, and Brent to US$33.13.