UPDATED: U.S. equities markets started the week with a strong rally driven by hopeful signs that the spread of the coronavirus outbreak may be slowing in response to aggressive social distancing measures.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up more than 1,000 points in early trading Monday and ended the session with a 1,627-point jump, or a 7.7% spike. That follows a 360-point loss on Friday that capped another seesaw week for Wall Street.
The NASDAQ finished out Monday with a 540-point gain, or 7.3% while the S&P 500 rose 146 points, or 5.9%. The plus signs were welcome news to investors who have been on a roller-coaster ride for more than a month, but there’s still no telling what the rest of the week will bring. Wall Streeters seemed to respond to glimmers of hope in the statistics for the rate of new infections in San Francisco and other places that were quick to enforce social distancing guidelines.
Among media stocks, two of the most battered in recent weeks — ViacomCBS and AMC Networks — led the list of gainers. ViacomCBS notched a 12.2% increase to close at $13.94, less than half of its value in February. AMC Networks ended the session with a 10% gain to $22.65, which is still about half of its value as of six months ago.
Other stocks that have been hammered because of Wall Street’s underlying uncertainty about the business also logged good days, notably Lionsgate (up 9.8% to $5.93) and Discovery (up 7% to $19.65).
Among the larger players, Disney is nearing the $100 mark again for the first time since March 11, closing with a 6% gain to $99.58. Comcast was up 6.7% to $36.23 and AT&T rose 7.2% to $29.44.
The tech giants were also lifted by the rising tide. Apple climbed 8.7% to $262.47 on the heels of CEO Tim Cook’s announcement that the company is now designing protective face shields for health care workers. Netflix (up 5% to $379.96), Amazon (up 4.8% to $1997.59) and Facebook (up 7.4% to $165.55) all made up some lost ground.