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Dow jumps 526 points as retail sales rebound

Jonathan Garber

U.S. equity markets soared Tuesday after retail sales gained the most on record, rebounding from April and following a report that President Trump is considering a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 526 points, or 2.04 percent, giving up some of its earlier gains, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.9 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively.

Retail sales jumped 17.7 percent in May, more than doubling the 8 percent increase that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating, as stay-at-home orders eased and stores unlocked their doors. April’s 16.4 percent decline was revised to a drop of 14.7 percent.

The data prompted a tweet from President Trump. "Looks like a BIG DAY FOR THE STOCK MARKET, AND JOBS!" he said.

Also driving markets, the president’s reported infrastructure proposal that would allocate most of the money for projects like roads and bridges but would also provide funding for 5G wireless infrastructure and rural broadband, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the plan.

"Since he took office, President Trump has been serious about a bipartisan infrastructure package that rebuilds our crumbling roads and bridges, invests in future industries, and promotes permitting efficiency," said White House spokesperson Judd Deere. No legislation has yet been passed.

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Investors also took in more sobering comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who reiterated the U.S. economy may rebound slowly until the coronavirus is under total control.

Looking at stocks, department stores Macy’s and Nordstrom charged higher while home-goods store Bed Bath & Beyond and electronics retailer Best Buy also gained.

Travel-related companies continued to march higher as states forge ahead with their reopening plans. Both American Airlines and United Airlines announced on Tuesday morning that any customer who refuses to wear a mask while onboard will be restricted from future travel.

McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales fell 12 percent in the first two months of the second quarter, but showed improvement in May, down 5.1 percent. Global same-store sales were off 29.8 percent during the April and May period.

WW International, formerly known as Weight Watchers, announced COVID-19 pushed digital subscribers to a record 3.7 million users. Overall, the company had 4.9 million subscribers on June 6, up 7 percent from a year ago.

In tech, the European Union has launched two antitrust probes into Apple’s mobile app store and payment platform, examining whether they violated competition rules.

Oil and gas explorer Chesapeake Energy is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as this week, according to Reuters.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil tacked on $1.26 to $38.38 a barrel while gold added $9.30 to $1,729.60 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys slid, causing the yield on the 10-year note to jump by 5.1 basis points to 0.753 percent.

European markets were higher across the board, with Germany’s DAX up 3.39 percent while France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE gained 2.84 percent and 2.94 percent, respectively.

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In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei soared 4.88 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 2.39 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.44 percent.

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