Finance

Dow surges 500 points as positive housing data outweighs virus spread

Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidReuters

  • US stocks climbed on Monday as investors continued to bet on economic reopenings despite soaring coronavirus case counts.
  • Pending home sales rocketed 44.3% in May, besting expectations and pointing to a swift rebound for the US housing market.
  • Global virus deaths topped 500,000 on Sunday, while confirmed cases tore above 10 million.
  • Boeing led the Dow higher after US regulators approved test flights of its troubled 737 Max jet.
  • Oil gained, with West Texas Intermediate jumping as much as 2.1%, to $39.30 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities traded higher on Monday as investors blocked out rising coronavirus case counts and focused on positive housing-market data.

Pending home sales shot 44.3% higher in May, the National Association of Realtors announced Monday. The reading trounced the median economist estimate of 19.3%, according to Bloomberg. The association’s metric now sits at 99.6, slightly lower than its pre-virus high of 111.4 but hinting at a steady recovery for the critical sector.

The leap “goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said. “This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”

Here’s where US indexes stood at 2:25 p.m. ET on Monday:

Read more:Real-estate investor Joe Fairless breaks down how he went from 4 single-family rentals to overseeing 7,000 units worth $900 million — and outlines the epiphany that turbocharged his career

Global virus deaths passed 500,000 on Sunday, while confirmed cases reached the 10 million mark. Fresh outbreaks in Florida, Texas, and California forced state governments to reverse some reopening measures to curb further damage. The spike in cases has so far not fueled a similar uptick in coronavirus deaths, but experts have said the virus’ spread could revive strict lockdowns.

Boeing led the Dow higher. The plane manufacturer’s shares leaped roughly 7.5% in early trading after US regulators approved test flights of its beleaguered 737 Max model.

Gilead stock also soared on Monday after the biotech company priced a five-day course of remdesivir, its experimental COVID-19 treatment, at $2,340. The company also nixed country-by-country price negotiations to further expand remdesivir’s market.

Read more:We spoke with 3 financial experts, who said to make 4 these trades right now to get ahead of surprising gains when earnings season starts next month

“As the world continues to reel from the human, social and economic impact of this pandemic, we believe that pricing remdesivir well below value is the right and responsible thing to do,” Gilead’s CEO and chairman, Daniel O’Day, said in a statement.

Facebook stock plummeted for the second straight session as more companies announced boycotts of the social-media giant. Several firms have recently turned away from advertising on social media to push platforms to take a stronger stance against hate speech.

Oil climbed slightly higher. West Texas Intermediate jumped as much as 2.1%, to $39.30 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, gained 1.4%, to $41.58, at intraday highs.

Read more:Jefferies says buy these 14 cheap stocks that are financially strong and positioned for market-beating returns

The upswing followed a massive fall to cap last week’s session. Major indexes plummeted more than 2% on Friday as the governors of Texas and Florida reversed some of the states’ reopening measures and warned of new virus hot spots. Bank stocks slumped after the Federal Reserve announced it would limit stock buybacks and dividends to boost emergency reserves.

In an online conference on Friday, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that though the worst of the coronavirus pandemic may be over, the global economy’s recovery would be “sequential and restrained.”

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

A market-crash expert known as ‘Dr. Doom’ warns a 10-year depression is coming — and says investors are far too confident about a possible recovery

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