Stocks continue to tiptoe higher, as investors digest the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that was signed on Friday afternoon. Bulls saw another gain in the stock market today, with the S&P 500 climbing more than 3.3%.
It is the index’s fourth gain in five trading sessions. Many investors are hoping that we’ve seen the worst of this coronavirus from China-driven selloff, but many acknowledge that a retest of the recent low may be possible.
The U.S. continues to see a massive amount of new Covid-19 cases each day. However, the news is starting to get a little better in other places. Italy, one of the worst-hit countries so far, reported 4,050 new cases on Monday. That’s the lowest count since March 17.
While it’s a step in the right direction, the country still reported more than 800 new deaths. It’s a grim outlook, but if the number of new cases can slow, so too should the death count. And perhaps from there, the world can begin to find its footing again.
Healthcare Stocks Rip
Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) stock jumped more than 6.4% in the stock market today, after announcing the launch of its new Covid-19 test kit that can show a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes. By April 1, the company will be able to make and deliver 50,000 tests per day that can be used in almost any healthcare setting. This is huge news for the fight against Covid-19.
Abbott Labs was also in our Top Stock Trades column on Monday.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced that it found a lead candidate for its Covid-19 vaccine. The treatment wouldn’t be available until early 2021 after starting a Phase 1 clinical trial by September. While not coming to market as quickly as some would have hoped, Johnson & Johnson investors were still pleased with the news. Shares climbed more than 8% on the news today.
Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) garnered noteworthy gains on Monday. That’s as the companies works toward coronavirus vaccines and treatments. The group was up between 4% and 6% late in the day on the news.
Separately, Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) rallied on Monday too. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s Taltz drug for use in pediatric patients that have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. At one point, shares were up as much as 5.7%.
Overall, it was a strong session for healthcare, which was the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 in the stock market today.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
Cruise companies have taken a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic — and it’s not getting any easier. Carnival (NYSE:CCL), which is 77% off its highs, just stated that it will be suspending voyages for another month, from April 11 to at least May 15, due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Carnival stock fell 11.1% in the stock market today.
With all of the financial struggles surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Macy’s (NYSE:M) announced that it’s planning to furlough most of its employees starting this week. The company will be paying for staff health benefits and 100% of premiums through at least May.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has seen a 775% increase in demand for cloud services in areas with stay-at-home and social distancing orders in place. Additionally, the company passed 44 million Teams daily active users (DAUs), up more than double from the 20 million it had in November.