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.
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.
Which stocks are in focus?
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.
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%.