US STOCKS-Wall St surges on hopes of slowing coronavirus deaths

Reuters

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    * Utilities lead gains among major S&P 500 sectors
    * Banks stocks track Treasury yields higher
    * Volatility index falls to two-week low
    * Dow up 5.85%, S&P 500 up 5.59%, Nasdaq up 5.63%

 (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)
    By Chuck Mikolajczak
    NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks surged on Monday,
with each of the major indexes rallying more than 5%, after a
drop in the daily death toll in New York, the country's biggest
coronavirus hot spot, fueled hopes a leveling off of the
pandemic was on the horizon.
    On Sunday, New York, the biggest U.S. hot spot, reported
virus-related deaths that had fallen slightly from the day
before, the first instance in a week.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BT0CJ
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo followed on Monday that
hospitalizations of coronavirus patients are down and the rate
of the rise in deaths has leveled off in the hardest-hit state,
but he cautioned against complacency.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BU186
    "It is definitely not going to be a one-way street but this
potentially could be a turning point, we are starting to get
some good news and hopefully that trend will continue," said
Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook
Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. 
    "But that is not to say it is going to be a smooth path. We
all know from the recovery we experienced after the 2008
financial crisis there is always a potential for a negative
development to cause the market to pull back again."
    Even with the positive signs, U.S. officials have braced the
country for a "peak death week" from the pandemic, with the
death toll topping 10,000.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BU0EI
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  rose 1,232.49
points, or 5.85%, to 22,285.02, the S&P 500  .SPX  gained 139.16
points, or 5.59%, to 2,627.81 and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC 
added 415.36 points, or 5.63%, to 7,788.44.
    All 30 Dow components were in positive territory, led by a
gain of 17.54% in Boeing  BA.N  shares, while the defensive
utilities  .SPLRCU , up 7.59%, was the best performing of the 11
major S&P sectors. 
    The S&P 500 banking index  .SPXBK  jumped 6.78% and was
poised for its best day in more than a week. Bank of America
 BAC.N , Citigroup  C.N , Wells Fargo  WFC.N  and JPMorgan
 JPM.N  advanced between 5.8% and 8.8%, tracking Treasury
yields.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BU0E9    
    Wall Street's fear gauge  .VIX  fell to its lowest in two
weeks, but remained at elevated levels. During the financial
crisis of 2007-08, the S&P 500 took months to establish a bottom
even after the volatility index plummeted.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2BU4E6
    Despite Monday's bounce, the S&P 500  .SPX  remains down
more than 22% from its mid-February record close.
    S&P 500 companies are expected to enter an earnings
recession in 2020, with declines in profit in the first and
second quarters, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, as
demand evaporates across sectors such as airlines, luxury goods
and industrials. First quarter expectations now call for an
earnings decline of 6% from the year-ago period.   
    Versace owner Capri Holdings  CPRI.N  surged 27.9% after
saying it expects to open its stores after June 1 and that it
would furlough all its 7,000 employees in North America.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2BU36H
    Video conferencing app Zoom  ZM.O  fell 7.5% on concerns
over its data-privacy practices and increased competition from
deep-pocketed rivals.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2BU2ON
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
8.45-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 5.11-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted 2 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 6 new highs and 28 new lows.  

 (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak
Editing by Nick Zieminski)
 ((charles.mikolajczak@tr.com; @ChuckMik; +1 646 223 5234;
Reuters Messaging:
charles.mikolajczak.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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