Dow Ends Nearly 700 Points, or 3.2%, Higher With Johnson & Johnson Leading Gains

Stocks finished Monday higher as Wall Street continues a rebound from last week.
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Stocks finished sharply higher Monday as Wall Street weighed President Donald Trump's extension of social-distancing guidelines for the country until April 30 against massive stimulus measures meant to revive an economy stalled by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 690 points, or 3.19%, to 22,327, the S&P 500 rose 3.35% and the Nasdaq was up 3.62%.

Stocks were coming off a week that saw the S&P 500 jump 10.3%, its biggest gain since March 2009, as lawmakers approved a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. Investors hope that effort will cushion businesses and ordinary Americans from the economic fallout of the virus outbreak. 

The Dow surged 13% last week, the blue-chip index's biggest weekly gain since 1938.

Trump over the weekend abandoned his goal of making the U.S. "open for business" by Easter, April 12, as he extended social distancing guidelines to the end of the month.

He said Sunday he expected deaths from the virus to peak in about two weeks.

U.S. coronavirus deaths could reach 200,000, according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.

“Looking at what we’re seeing now, we’re looking at 100,000 to 200,000” deaths, “but I don’t want to be held to that,” Fauci told CNN on Sunday. 

“I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection, when it’s such a moving target, that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.”

"Short term, we do not yet know when the country, or parts of the country, will reopen for business. That makes measuring the Q2 economic contraction and the trajectory of a Q3 recovery impossible," said David Bahnsen, chief investment officer of Bahnsen Group. 

"Therefore, continued volatility is not just likely but virtually assured.  Could this mean a retesting of the market lows?  No one has any idea. Simply put, three months from now is a better barometer than three days from now; and most investors (OK, all investors) ought to be looking out far more than just three months, too," Bahnsen added.

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 770,653, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 36,946.

The U.S. has 156,931 cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. More than 2,800 people have died from the disease in the U.S.

Abbott Laboratories  (ABT) - Get Report surged 6.5% to $79.38 after the company received emergency U.S. approval for a coronavirus test.

The Food and Drug Administration used its emergency authorization powers to give the approval to Abbott's testing kit, a small, portable unit that can detect positive coronavirus results in at little as five minutes. 

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Report said Monday that it had identified a leading coronavirus vaccine candidate that could result in more than a billion doses available to address the global pandemic.

J&J said the vaccine was developed in partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and that it hopes to initiate human trials for the lead vaccine candidate by September at the latest.

The company also said it expected the first batch could be available for emergency use in early 2021.

The stock was leading the Dow higher, rising 8% to $132.95.

Global oil prices, meanwhile, slumped to fresh 18-year lows, pulling U.S. crude under $20 a barrel on Monday amid a perfect storm of near record production rates and a coronavirus-led collapse in world demand.