Dow soars 530 points on big hopes for a vaccine and the economy's reopening

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell at the The New York Stock Exchange, which reopened its floor after temporarily shutting down to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Posted: May 27, 2020 7:01 AM
Updated: May 27, 2020 7:01 AM

Floor trading reopened at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell, and traders exulted in cheers. It was the perfect setting for investors' unbridled enthusiasm about the markets.

The stock market rallied at the start of the shortened week after markets were closed for Memorial Day on Monday, with all three major indexes finishing higher.

The Dow closed up 530 points, or 2.2%, boosted by optimism about the continued gradual reopening of the economy and a new potential coronavirus vaccine. At its high, the index was up more than 700 points and climbed above 25,000 points, a level it hasn't closed at since March 10.

The S&P 500, which is the broadest measure of Wall Street, closed up 1.2%. The index climbed above 3,000 points, a point at which it hasn't closed above since early March -- but it slipped back below that level by the time the closing bell rang.

The Nasdaq Composite closed up only 0.2%, having given back most of its earlier gains.

Although the New York Stock Exchange is a largely symbolic site -- stocks trade digitally -- the reopening after an unprecedented two-month hiatus is signaling that some things are returning to normal. NYSE floor trading closed May 18 as the city shut down to limit the spread of coronavirus. It was the first time that the New York stock market operated entirely electronically.

The economy has been decimated by stay-at-home orders that forced businesses to close, put millions of people out of work and sent stocks tumbling into a bear market. Although the economy remains in the toilet, investors have decided to wear their rose-colored glasses lately.

Boosting markets' optimism Tuesday, US biotechnology company Novavax announced that it is starting a human trial for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Australia. The company's shares closed 4.5% higher , having pared earlier gains.

Also helping lift investors' spirits, Memorial Day travel was modestly higher than over the past several weeks, giving markets hope that business is starting to return to life. Travel and leisure companies are among Tuesday's best performers, as local economies continued to reopen gradually across America.

On the economic data front, American consumer confidence stabilized in May, according to a Conference Board report released Tuesday. The confidence index had plummeted to 85.7, its lowest level in nearly six years, in April -- but it recovered to 86.6 in May. While consumers' assessment of the present business and labor market conditions declined further, their short-term outlook improved, helped by the reopening of the economy.

But even as some economic data is beginning to point upward, there are still plenty of red flags.

The unemployment rate is at its worst since the Great Depression, with millions of Americans laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic. And while the decline in consumer confidence appears to have bottomed out, "the uneven path to recovery and potential second wave are likely to keep a cloud of uncertainty hanging over consumers' heads," said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

Meanwhile in Washington, policymakers pledged to continue to pump the economy full of stimulus to stave off a collapse.

On Friday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said he expects Congress and President Trump to agree on a "fourth wave" of economic stimulus "sooner rather than later."

"Risk appetite has been improving for a good couple of months now, partly on hopes over a vaccine but mainly because of expectations that the massive central bank and government stimulus packages announced in response to Covid-19 pandemic will fuel a speedy recovery in demand," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at ThinkMarkets.

All that positive sentiment in the market is weighing on traditionally safer bets like gold, the US dollar and US Treasury bonds.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
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Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
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Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
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Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
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Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
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Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
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Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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