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After the Bell: Best Day for Stocks Since 1933

John Divine

Hope for a "V-shaped" stock market recovery drove investors back to the markets on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average clocking its best single-day point gain ever and its largest one-day percentage gain since 1933.

A day after stocks opened the week on a sour note, the Dow jumped about 2,113 points, or 11.4%, to finish at 20,705.

Business activity sets record lows. Measures for business activity in the U.S. and Europe both registered record lows in March, with the purchasing managers index falling to 40.5 in March from 49.6 in February. Levels below 50 indicate declining activity in the manufacturing and services sectors.

In Europe, the fall was even more severe, with its analogous index plunging from 51.6 in February to 31.4, the lowest reading since the index began measuring in 1998.

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Mixed messages from the top. In a bizarre statement, President Donald Trump expressed optimism that the U.S. economy could essentially come back online by Easter, which falls on April 12. Experts flooded social media and airwaves to caution against such a mindset, which could cause a more prolonged crisis should the spread of COVID-19 pick up again.

Bounce for most vulnerable stocks. Some of the year's worst-performing and hardest hit names saw major advances on Tuesday, buoyed by the hope surrounding the nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ( NCLH) and American Airlines Group ( AAL) finished as two of the top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 on Tuesday, jumping 42.2% and 35.8%, respectively.

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