U.S. stocks climbed Thursday as President Donald Trump mapped out a phased national reopening amid dismal economic numbers.
In a volatile session, the S&P 500 closed higher and Nasdaq 100 wiped out its losses for 2020.
Traders also assessed a fresh batch of corporate earnings, with Morgan Stanley posting a 24 percent jump in trading revenue, while casting doubt on whether those gains can continue.
Treasurys and the dollar rose. Oil closed under $20 a barrel for a second day.
losers in the index easily outnumbered the winners.
“We know the numbers are not going to be good, but companies can show they’ve taken steps to stop the cash drain or that they’ve positioned themselves well,” said Sal Bruno, chief investment officer at IndexIQ.
Amazon, Dollar General and Walmart were all close to record highs as people stock up on staples.
Netflix and video-game companies Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts also saw all-time highs as consumers spend more time at home.
Federal guidelines the Trump administration issued to states on Thursday recommend they document a “downward trajectory” in cases of coronavirus and flu-like illnesses before relaxing stay-home orders.
States then could proceed into a three-phase reopening process, according to the guidelines, which Bloomberg News obtained.
More than 5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total to 22 million in the month since the outbreak throttled the U.S. economy.
New home construction declined in March from the previous month by the most since 1984.
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“It’s like trying to fly a kite in a hurricane while you’re in the middle of an earthquake,” said Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent by the end of trading. The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped two basis points, to 0.61 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $19.87 a barrel.
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