The week from April 13th to 17th began with expectations of a softer opening. As the previous week ended, there was hope of the coronavirus syndrome coming to an end soon since disease projections were less pessimistic. The equity averages moved into bull territory. This was complemented by the Federal Reserve adopting an aggressive strategy. Oil quotations also rose higher.
There was optimism after the government started sounding its intention of reopening business operations after the lockdown. Equity futures were expected to start the session on an upside.
Nasdaq closed at 8,192.42 while the S&P 500 ended the day at 2761.63. Dow Jones closed at 23,390.77.
Tuesday was a great day for stocks. They started the day on the upside. Big gains were reported not just in the United States but also Europe and Asia. The major US market indexes made great gains.
Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed at 8,515.74 and 2846.06 respectively. Dow Jones ended the day at 23.949.76.
Volatility was back in Wall Street. Despite the strong rally experienced on Tuesday, April 14, the major equity averages changed course and went back on the gains made the previous days. The big indexes were also off, with Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite losing 445, 63 and 123 points respectively. It was a bearish situation overall. The small-cap Russell 2000 performed even worse, dropping 53 points, twice more than the percentages at which the above-mentioned indexes dropped.
Dow Jones closed at 23,504.35, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended the day at 2783.36 and 8,393.18 respectively.
Wednesday’s weak performance carried on in the initial hours of trading on Thursday. There were evident losses in Dow Jones. The blue-chip companies making up the index had to experience a 300-point loss in just the starting half hour. Investors took note of the gloomy picture brought out by the Commerce Department which reported a 22.3% tumble in housing starts in May, while building permits only fell 6.8%. But later, it was recovery mode for stocks and Nasdaq led the way as a result of some great performances by stocks in its index. Most notably, Amazon ($AMZN) experienced a surge of 100 points.
Nasdaq closed at 8,532.36. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones closed at 2799.55 and 23,537.68 respectively.
As the week came to a close, US stocks ended up higher particularly on news that a drug to treat coronavirus would eventually be around the corner thanks to research by Gilead Sciences ($GLD) whose Remdevisir drug was reported to have brought about convincing results in tests.
There was advancement in all the sectors, with financials and energy particularly standing out. One of the highlights was Procter & Gamble reporting net sales worth $17 billion, which is a 5% rise. Its earnings per share (EPS) was $1.17, which toppled consensus estimates that were only in the region of $1.13 per share. US Treasuries had a fall with rising yields. The Leading Economic Index (LEI) of The Conference Board had a sharp 6.7% fall which broke the earlier 3.4% decline record set in October 2008.
Dow Jones rose to 24,242, a gain of 705 points or 3.0%. The S&P 500 was up 2.7% to 2,875, a 75-point raise. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 118 points to 8,650, a rise of 1.4%.
The bright Tuesday is the highlight of the week, or at least, what investors would like to remember. Wednesday was a tumble, while Thursday and Friday saw stocks rise again. Overall, the picture was one of volatility though hopes of an effective Covid-19 treatment and the plateauing of fresh cases in Europe helped the major indexes end the week on a high.
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