Stocks – Dow Hitches Ride With Energy to First 2-Week Gain Since February

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Investing.com – Wall Street ended Friday on the front foot, wrapping up a second-straight weekly gain for the firrst time since February amid signs of light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel.

The Dow rose 2.99%, or 705 points, notching its first two-week gain since Feb. 9. The S&P 500 gained 2.68% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.38%.

Unveiling guidelines to restart the economy in three phases, President Donald Trump declared opening up America was the next phase of the battle against the novel coronavirus, which has infected nearly 700,000 and killed about 36,000 nationwide.

As many as 29 states potentially “will be able to open relatively soon,” Trump said.

Against the backdrop of expectations for the economy to open sooner rather than later, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he believes all stores in Texas should be able to operate beginning next Friday, April 24.

In New York, the epicenter of the outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo appears eager to get the economic wheels turning again, but has expressed caution and suggested a staggered reopening could be the best way forward.

“It’s going to be incremental, and we have to be smart as we do this,” Cuomo said as the rate of Covid-19-related hospitalizations across the state continued to decline.

“The situation we’re in right now is unstable. People can’t stay in their homes for this length of time. They can’t stay out of work. You can’t keep the economy closed forever. You just can’t. Society can’t handle it,” he added.

Hopes for an economic restart were given a much-needed boost as Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ:GILD) experimental drug remdesivir has reportedly triggered “rapid recoveries” in coronavirus patients, according to researchers from University of Chicago Medicine.

Energy stocks underpinned the broader market rally even as oil prices tumbled near to a 19-year low amid growing fears of a supply overhang in the wake of the coronavirus-led hit to demand.

Financials ended the day the strongly, led by a rally in Citizens Financial (NYSE:CFG), up 15%, and Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) up 12.5%. But the sector ended the week in negative territory following hefty losses earlier this week in the wake of dismal earnings from major Wall Street banks.

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