Stocks rebounded Wednesday on Covid-19 vaccine hopes.
The Dow and broader U.S. stock market swung higher on Wednesday, as investors held on to hopes that a coronavirus vaccine would help unleash a strong economic recovery sooner than previously expected.
All of Wall Street’s major indices recorded significant gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) rallying 369.04 points, or 1.5%, to 24,575.90.
The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks gained 1.7% to close at 2,971.61.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) rallied 2.1% to finish at 9,375.78.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VXX), commonly known as the VIX, was back on the defensive Wednesday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached a session low of 27.98 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. VIX would eventually settle down 8.1% at 28.07.
Stocks rallied on optimism about a broad economic revival as more states begin to ease lockdown measures. Vaccine hopes tied to Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are also boosting investors’ morale.
On the commodities front, oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for U.S. crude futures climbed $1.68, or 5.3%, to $33.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, gained $1.21, or 3.5%, to $35.86 a barrel.
The Final Word: The spread of coronavirus has slowed significantly in recent weeks, but the official caseload is fast approaching 5 million. In the United States, more than 1.5 million people have been infected so far, based on the latest Johns Hopkins data.