US stocks open much higher on hopes virus spread limited

In this file photo the Wall Street street sign is seen on March 23, 2020 in New York City. — AFP pic
In this file photo the Wall Street street sign is seen on March 23, 2020 in New York City. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, April 7 — Wall Street stocks opened higher today, surging for a second straight session amid hopes governments are making progress in combatting the spread of the coronavirus.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 23,380.75, up 700 points or 3.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 2.7 per cent to 2,735.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.2 per cent to 8,084.82.

Analysts said the gains reflected less bleak coronavirus case figures in key hotspot regions, such as New York city and Italy.

But many analysts are taking the surge with a grain of salt.

“It is gleeful that we could be nearing the worst of the coronavirus from a health standpoint,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare. But he cautioned that sentiment might be “too far ahead of itself with an assumption that things will go back to normal when the stay-at-home orders are lifted.”

Analysts expect more market volatility ahead as companies announce additional cutbacks and the economic slowdown hits company profits.

In the last day, Boeing has suspended production at a big airplane factory in South Carolina, the last in operation, and Exxon Mobil has trimmed its capital budget. — AFP

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