Wall Street jumps on stimulus hopes, hints of Trump's return to White House

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes jumped on Monday, recovering from a sharp fall in the previous session as hints President Donald Trump could return to the White House and hopes of a new fiscal stimulus bill lifted sentiment.

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a phone call with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley October 4, 2020, in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Not shown in the photo also in the room on the call is Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Tia Dufour/The White House/Handout via REUTERS

Although Trump’s medical condition remained unclear as he began a fourth day at the military hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19, his doctors have said he could be discharged as soon as Monday.

Ten of the 11 major S&P indexes were up, with energy .SPNY, the worst performing sector this year, rising 1.7%. Materials .SPLRCM and financials .SPSY were also among the biggest gainers in morning trading.

Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN.O jumped 6.1% after Trump’s physician said he had been treated with an intravenous dose of Regeneron’s dual antibody treatment. The wider healthcare index .SPXHC added 1.7%.

“One of his treatments was an experimental drug from Regeneron (and) that’s showing that this could be a major component to treatments moving forward for people,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

Doubts about the scale of further fiscal aid and a slowing economic recovery have weighed on the S&P 500 recently, with the benchmark index in September logging its worst month since the coronavirus-driven crash earlier this year.

But latest data showed the services industry’s activity picked up in September, pulling above a level that prevailed before the pandemic struck the United States.

Further aiding the mood, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said there was still potential to reach agreement with U.S. lawmakers on more coronavirus relief and that Trump was committed to getting the deal done.

“The market has really traded on stimulus news, both to the high side and to the low side over the past few months,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird.

“The need for that stimulus is becoming more and more evident. While it might boost markets a little bit, the real economy is showing that it’s necessary to really take this recovery up another level.”

At 11:32 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 1.30%, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 1.37% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 1.70%.

Heavyweight tech-related stocks including Apple Inc AAPL.O, Nvidia Corp NVDA.O, Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O and Microsoft Corp MSFT.O were up between 1.4% and 2.2% after weighing heavily on the Nasdaq .IXIC on Friday.

The S&P banking subindex .SPXBK rose 1.8% as the U.S. Treasury 30-year yield hit its highest since late August.

Real estate .SPLRCR – considered a defensive play – was the only S&P sector in the red.

MyoKardia Inc MYOK.O surged 58.0% after Bristol-Myers Squibb Co BMY.N said it would buy the company for about $13 billion. Shares of Bristol-Myers rose 0.7%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners more than 3-to-1 on the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 22 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 88 new highs and seven new lows.

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