By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – Wall Street rose sharply Monday, led by healthcare and tech stocks as investors bet that President Donald Trump's move to extend measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak will prove vital in helping the country curb the spread of the virus.
The Dow 2.44%, or 529 points. The S&P 500 added 2.97% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 3.02%.
Anticipating a climb in coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S., President Donald Trump said on Sunday the U.S. containment measures, which include social distancing, would be extended to April 30.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the Trump's coronavirus task force, praised the extension as a "wise and prudent" decision.
"(I)f we do things together well, almost perfectly, we could get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities,” Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview on "TODAY."
The extension comes as cases in New York jumped to 66,497 from 59,568 on Sunday, with infections nationwide rising to about 156,000, with nearly 2,900 deaths so far.
Italy, the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe, signaled that its somewhat aggressive lockdown measures were taking shape, with infections falling to 4,050 from 5,217 on Sunday, the lowest daily number of infections in two weeks.
The gains on Wall Street comes just days after Trump signed the $2 trillion stimulus package on Friday, the largest aid package in U.S. history, to ensure the economy bounces back quickly from a widely expected recession.
Tech spearheaded the rally in the broader market, with chip and FANG stocks among the biggest gains.
Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD) were all sharply higher.
Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), meanwhile, jumped 7% pushing up the broader sector, after the company revealed plans to start human testing of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by September.
Energy, meanwhile, also participated in the broader rally, even as oil prices plunged to 18-year lows, with no end in sight to the ongoing Saudi Arabia and Russia oil price war at a time when oil demand has been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak.