Wall Street surged on Monday, as oil rallied and a decline in death rates in Europe led to optimism that social distancing measures are having an impact.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a gain of around 800 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up by 3.5 percent at the opening bell.
While death rates saw a decline in Spain and Italy, two of the worst affected countries in Europe, White House officials have warned that the U.S. is entering what could be the worst week of the coronavirus crisis.
“This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday in an interview with Fox News.
The price of crude oil recovered somewhat, after a drop of almost 30 percent in the past few weeks, as Russia and Saudi Arabia reportedly worked to set aside their differences after a production agreement ended last month. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has moved its virtual meeting from Monday to Thursday to discuss output cuts with Russia.
Tradition safe haven asset gold also rose Monday morning, as investors fled riskier markets such as equities.
The declining rates in parts of Europe pushed up the Stoxx, which contains a basket of European stocks, by around 2.5 percent Monday morning, despite the news that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized with coronavirus.
New York State, the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, saw its first daily decline in coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday. However, the death rate increased in states such as Michigan and Louisiana.
“We see light at the end of the tunnel,” President Donald Trump said at a coronavirus task force news briefing on Sunday, but noted that the U.S. was still facing a “great hour of grief.”
In other market news, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned in his annual letter to shareholders that the U.S. should expect a “bad recession” that would be “similar to the global financial crisis of 2008.”