Stocks fell sharply late in the day after Federal Reserve vice-president Richard Clarida made negative comments about the extent of the economic contraction.
Some hard-hit countries, including Italy, as well as some US states, including California, are temporarily easing freeze orders this week, raising hopes of renewed demand for oil.
The share of health care has dominated the S&P 500 sectors following the evolution of Pfizer’s coronavirus efforts (PFE.N) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN.O).
“We are starting to see some states opening up, we are starting to see some activity,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management. “We are probably now in the middle of the worst period and things will gradually improve from here. “
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 133.33 points, or 0.56%, to 23,883.09, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 25.7 points, or 0.90%, to 2,868.44 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 98.41 points, or 1.13%, to 8,809.12.
Shares of large technology and Internet companies such as Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) also improved, improving the indices.
Pfizer (PFE.N), stocks rose 2.4% after the drug maker announced it and its German partner had started delivering doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine for human testing. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN.O), the stock gained 6.0% after the company said its experimental COVID-19 antibody cocktail may be available by the end of the summer.
Inventories have rebounded strongly since the end of March following the liquidation caused by the coronaviruses, helped by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus. Investors are now watching the efforts of a number of states that are trying to revive their economies by relaxing the restrictions put in place to fight the epidemic.
Clarida said in an interview with CNBC that the US economy is expected to contract sharply in the second quarter due to intentional business closings, but there is a chance that the recovery may begin in the second half.
“Clarida threw some wet blanket into the market at the end of the session,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.
Tuesday’s data showed that the large US service sector contracted in April for the first time in almost 10 and a half years.
Investors are now preparing to get labor market data throughout the week, which will culminate in the employment report for April scheduled for Friday.
“We certainly got negative data, but for the most part, the market has learned to examine this,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco.
In current affairs, the shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.N) fell 22.6% as the world’s third-largest cruise line operator expressed doubts about its ability to continue operating as a business.
Growing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.52 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.18 to 1 favored the advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 11 new highs over 52 weeks and two new lows; Nasdaq Composite recorded 46 new highs and 12 new lows.
About 10.6 billion shares have changed hands on the US stock market, below the daily average of around 12 billion in the past 20 sessions.
Additional reporting by April Joyner in New York, Medha Singh and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman
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