U.S. stock markets climbed on Wednesday as investors were encouraged by hopeful signs about the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with health insurers getting an additional boost from the announcement that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was suspending his campaign.
“Stocks are celebrating good news on the coronavirus front, that is legitimate, that is fair and they probably should,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.
“It is going to be a slow process to get things going again but right now stocks are breathing a sigh of relief that maybe the models with death projections from a week or two weeks ago, maybe those aren’t going to pan out.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 655.78 points, or 2.89%, to 23,309.64, the S&P 500 gained 77.31 points, or 2.91%, to 2,736.72 and the Nasdaq Compositeadded 178.49 points, or 2.26%, to 8,065.75.
After the worst March performance for the S&P 500 in decades, the benchmark index has bounced back by about 22% the past two weeks, although its main indicator of future volatility remains historically high.
Stocks gained an additional lift as he healthcare sector .SPXHC gained ground in the wake of Sanders’ decision to drop his campaign for the White House. Sanders’ embrace of a Medicare for all healthcare policy would have essentially abolished private insurance and had cast a shadow over healthcare stocks for months.