By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The Dow continued its climb higher Wednesday on growing hopes the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. may soon be in the rearview mirror.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.13%, or 709 points, the S&P 500 was up 3.23%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 2.52%.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reportedly told Fox News that the U.S. was set for a "bad week for deaths," but a "beginning of a turnaround," would emerge after this week.
The positive tone was echoed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said if recent lockdown measures, including social distancing, in the state are maintained, the coronavirus outbreak could be "stabilized" within weeks.
But hopes that a flattening of the curve in New York, which is now the epicenter of the global pandemic, were quickly downplayed by Cuomo.
"I don’t think we return to normal. I don’t think we return to yesterday," Cuomo said. “I think we return to a new normal.”
Signs the pace of infection could be slowing boosted investor sentiment, and pushed oil prices higher, a day ahead of a virtual meeting between OPEC and its allies, in which many expect production cuts to be announced.
Against the backdrop of rising oil prices, energy stocks led the broader market rally, gaining nearly 5%.
Industrials hitched a ride higher on the back of a surge in Boeing (NYSE:BA), up 2.3%.
In another boost to risk sentiment, the $349 billion small business lending program looks set for a $250 million boost, albeit with few kinks still to iron out by Congress.
In political news, Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race, boosting healthcare names as the Independent running for the Democratic nomination had proposed a massive shake-up in the healthcare industry with proposals such as Medicare for all.