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

Reuters

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    * Tech, utilities lead gains among major S&P 500 sectors
    * Banks stocks track Treasury yields higher
    * Volatility index falls to two-week low
    * Dow up 7.73%, S&P 500 up 7.03%, Nasdaq up 7.33%

 (Updates to market close)
    By Chuck Mikolajczak
    NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rocketed higher on
Monday, with each of the major indexes rallying at least 7%,
after a fall in the daily death toll in New York, the country's
biggest coronavirus hot spot, fueled optimism a leveling off of
the pandemic was on the horizon.
    On Sunday, New York reported virus-related deaths had fallen
slightly from the previous day, the first instance in a week.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BT0CJ
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said 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
    "Seeing the market soar the way it is, even though the
fundamentals continue to be in free fall, the market is looking
across the valley and saying 'six months from now things will be
on the ascent,'" said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist
at CFRA Research in New York. 
    "They are looking across the valley and seeing a lot of
scary news but are basically saying 'We will get past this.'"
    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 1,627.46
points, or 7.73%, to 22,679.99, the S&P 500  .SPX  gained 175.03
points, or 7.03%, to 2,663.68 and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC 
added 540.16 points, or 7.33%, to 7,913.24.
    The gains marked the biggest daily percentage rise for each
index since March 24. 
    All 30 Dow components were in positive territory, led by a
gain of 19.47% in Boeing  BA.N  shares, while the technology
 .SPLRCT  and defensive utilities  .SPLRCU  sectors, among the
best-performing for the year, climbed more than 8%. 
    The S&P 500 banking index  .SPXBK  jumped 8.21% and notched
its best day in just over a week.  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 21% 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 25.9% 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 4.1% 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
8.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 5.68-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted four new 52-week highs and no new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 10 new highs and 34 new lows.  
    Volume on U.S. exchanges was 12.62 billion shares, compared
with the 15.52 billion average for the full session over the
last 20 trading days.     

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

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