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March 30, 2020, 4:27 p.m. EDT

Dow books nearly 700-point gain as investors eye efforts to slow coronavirus spread

Rally for shares of J&J and UnitedHealth counter slide for Boeing

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By William Watts, MarketWatch , Sunny Oh

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Still, the rising number of infections and deaths and historically ugly economic data in coming weeks will likely make it difficult for stocks to sustain rallies, analysts said, even as investors debate whether stocks can defend more-than-three-year lows established last Monday before the market’s bounce.

Read: These indicators suggest a stock-market bottom, but coronavirus fears could send the S&P 500 swooning again

Economic data in the week ahead may not fully capture the impact of the pandemic, which has led to a near shutdown of economic activity in the U.S. and much of the world. On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales jumped 2.4% in February, and were up 9.4% year over year.

But more recent releases point to the coming economic distress. The Dallas Fed’s manufacturing index in March fell to an all-time low of minus 70 as factory operators said the coronavirus had increased uncertainty, hurt sales and disrupted supply chains.

Economic Preview: The U.S. is sinking into recession, but the full scope of the damage won’t be apparent right away

Which stocks are in focus?

  • Shares of Cal-Maine Foods Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201864009/composite CALM +3.29%  fell 0.3% after the egg producer delivered fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat estimates .

  • Dow component Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ -0.08%  shares surged more than 8% after the company said it had identified a lead candidate in its efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc . /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH +0.02% , also a member of the blue-chip index, rose 3.6%.

  • Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals In c. /zigman2/quotes/203149337/composite REGN -3.09%  rose 5%, while American depositary receipts for Sanofi SA /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY -0.53%  advanced 4.9% after the companies said Monday that the first patient in a global clinical trial testing Kevzara as a therapy for patients hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19 had been treated.

  • Shares of major oil company Chevron Corp . /zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite CVX +3.01% and aeronautics Boeing Co . /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA +2.98% capped gains in the blue-chip Dow index.

How are other markets trading?

In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +1.02% fell 5.7 basis points to 0.687%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

U.S. crude prices hit an 18-year low, with May futures for West Texas Intermediate  falling $1.42 to $20.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange trading. In precious metals, April gold fell 0.2% to settle at $1,622 an ounce.

The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.76% closed 1.8% higher, while the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.11% gained 1%.

In Asia overnight, stocks ended mostly lower, with the China’s CSI 300 /zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed XX:000300 +2.10% sliding 1%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +2.22% tumbling 1.6%.

/zigman2/quotes/201864009/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 45.18
+1.44 +3.29%
Volume: 224,812
July 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$2.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$440,957
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 142.37
-0.12 -0.08%
Volume: 4.28M
July 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.20
Dividend Yield
2.84%
Market Cap
$375.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
$603,509
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 291.23
+0.07 +0.02%
Volume: 2.39M
July 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.39
Dividend Yield
1.72%
Market Cap
$276.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$754,157
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203149337/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 620.86
-19.77 -3.09%
Volume: 929,335
July 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
31.20
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$69.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
$906,865
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 50.28
-0.27 -0.53%
Volume: 369,396
July 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
38.94
Dividend Yield
2.33%
Market Cap
$126.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
$390,092
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 85.23
+2.49 +3.01%
Volume: 6.22M
July 10, 2020 4:02p
P/E Ratio
42.13
Dividend Yield
6.05%
Market Cap
$159.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 178.44
+5.16 +2.98%
Volume: 40.96M
July 10, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$100.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
$660,961
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime
add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
0.65
+0.0066 +1.02%
Volume: 0.00
July 13, 2020 8:41a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
369.62
+2.79 +0.76%
Volume: 0.00
July 13, 2020 2:26p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,163.36
+67.95 +1.11%
Volume: 272,957
July 13, 2020 1:26p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed
XX : China Securities Index
4,852.96
+99.83 +2.10%
Volume: 32.16B
July 13, 2020 3:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
22,784.74
+493.93 +2.22%
Volume: 0.00
July 13, 2020 3:15p
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William Watts is MarketWatch's deputy markets editor, based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @wlwatts. Sunny Oh is a MarketWatch fixed-income reporter based in New York.

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