Dow searches for direction after best week since 1938

U.S. equity markets gained Monday morning as traders digested the news that social distancing guidelines were extended until at least April 30.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed by as many as 533 points, or 2.5 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were up as much as 1.8 and 2.9 percent, respectively. Last week, the Dow gained 13 percent, making for its best week since 1938.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 22094.95 +458.17 +2.12%
SP500 S&P 500 2610.12 +68.65 +2.70%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 7733.509853 +231.13 +3.08%

Looking at stocks, airlines slid as they awaited the release tens of billions of dollars of aid from the federal government.

Cruise operators remained under pressure after receiving a downgrade from Berenberg Research.

General Motors was in focus after President Trump praised the automaker, saying it was doing a “fantastic job” ramping up ventilator production.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 12.59 -1.45 -10.36%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 28.71 -0.83 -2.83%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 12.79 -1.61 -11.21%
GM GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY 21.16 -0.22 -1.03%

Abbott Laboratories surged after the company’s five minute COVID-19 test received Food & Drug Administration approval. Johnson & Johnson announced testing for its COVID-19 vaccine would begin by September and that it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.

Regeneron and Sanofi said Monday that their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara treated its first patient with severe COVID-19 in a global clinical trial.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ABT ABBOTT LABORATORIES 80.70 +6.14 +8.23%
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 133.92 +10.76 +8.74%
REGN REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC. 474.91 +25.39 +5.65%
SNY SANOFI S.A. 44.71 +2.27 +5.35%

Elsewhere, Apple gained despite Reuters reporting iPhone demand was likely to be down 18 percent from a year ago.

Jefferies CFO Peg Broadbent died over the weekend due to complications related to COVID-19.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 253.91 +6.17 +2.49%
JEF JEFFERIES FINANCIAL GROUP 14.45 +0.11 +0.77%

On the commodities front, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading down 5.8 percent at $20.26 per barrel and was flirting with its first close below $20 since February 2002. Meanwhile, gold fell 0.7 percent to near $1,642 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 9.5 basis points to 0.649 percent.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX gained 1.9 percent while Britain’s FTSE and France’s CAC were up 1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

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Asian markets fell, with Japan’s Nikkei falling 1.6 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sliding 1.3 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite shedding 0.9 percent.

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