Dow leaps 530 points as hopes for a smooth reopening gain traction


Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidReuters

  • US stocks surged through Tuesday trading as investors’ optimism toward economic reopenings overshadowed flaring US-China tensions.
  • The S&P 500 for the first time since early March broke through 3,000, a key threshold for the market’s weekslong rally.
  • The White House said on Sunday that it would likely sanction China if the country implemented a controversial national-security law in Hong Kong, further escalating stresses between the economic giants.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil bounced as much as 4.7%, to $34.81 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks leaped on Tuesday as investors mulled economic reopenings and new US-China tensions.

States continued to relax lockdown measures through Memorial Day weekend, ushering in a new test for markets battered by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the session’s biggest winners included firms hit hardest by the outbreak, with United Airlines, Carnival, and MGM Resorts all gaining at least 11%. Six Flags shares spiked as much as 12% after the company announced plans for its first park reopening in June.

New pressure between Hong Kong and China dampened sentiment and threatened to escalate US-China tensions. The White House said on Sunday that the US would likely sanction China if it enacted a controversial national-security law in Hong Kong.

Here’s where US indexes stood after Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET close:

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The rally temporarily placed the S&P 500 index above 3,000 for the first time since early March. The day also marked the first in two months with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The trading floor had been closed since March 23 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Investors also looked to news from the biotech firm Novavax’s efforts to create a coronavirus vaccine. The company announced on Monday that it had begun human trials of its vaccine candidate and expected results in July. Novavax shares jumped as much as 16% in early trading.

Markets have previously soared on announcements of positive study results, most recently surging after Moderna reported positive developments in trials of its experimental vaccine.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed higher through the session, leaping as much as 4.7%, to $34.81 per barrel. Brent crude, the commodity’s international standard, gained 4.4%, to $36.68.

Consumer confidence data released Tuesday morning further bolstered hopes for a near-term rebound. The Conference Board’s confidence index ticked higher to 86.6 in May from 85.7. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a reading of 82.3, CNBC reported.

The positive start followed the market’s best week since early April. Despite a mixed close in Friday trading, major US indexes surged through last week on Moderna’s announcement and growing optimism about economic reopenings. Inflows to major tech stocks like Facebook and Apple also lifted the highly concentrated benchmarks.

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