U.S. stock futures surged on Monday, pointing to a big rebound to start the week.
The bullish sentiment was driven by a number of things:
- While the White House acknowledged this week could be among the toughest for coronavirus hot spots like New York, the administration had a more optimistic tone overall at a press conference on Sunday, noting signs of stabilization in hospital rates and other factors.
- New York State reported 594 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, fewer than 630 on Saturday, marking the first daily decline in coronavirus-related deaths, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
- Slowing death rates in Europe offered up some hope that the U.S would be nearing its peak soon as well and that social distancing measures are working.
- Oil cut its losses after Russia’s sovereign wealth fund chief said that Russia and Saudi Arabia were very close to a deal on production losses. U.S. crude was still off by 4%, but off its biggest losses of overnight trading, easing concerns the oil market would further destabilize the global economy.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 716 points, or 3.4%, indicating a gain of more than 700 points at the open. S&P 500 futures were up 3.4%. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3.6%.
“Incoming data suggests NY state might peak sooner than Cuomo’s optimistic case,” Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, said in a note to clients. “With better visibility on the healthcare crisis in the US, particularly, on a potential to model a national peak, we believe buyers are now taking control.”
Last week, the major averages posted their third weekly decline in four. The Dow slid 2.7% while the S&P 500 lost 2.1%. The Nasdaq Composite closed last week down 1.7%. Stocks are also deep in bear-market territory as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have virtually shut down the global economy and have dampened sentiment around corporate profits.
“I am beginning to get optimistic,” said Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman in a tweet on Sunday. “Cases appear to be peaking in NY. Almost the entire country is in shutdown.”
Some optimism has helped to infuse stability in the markets. A marked slowing increase in death rates and new infections in the hardest-hit countries, such as Italy and Spain, has sparked some positive momentum in global equities, with Europe’s Stoxx 600 jumping 2.5% at the open.
However, the U.S. is by far the country with the most cases at over 330,000. On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned, “there will be a lot of death,” noting the U.S. faces its “toughest week” in its fight against the virus.
In oil markets, prices were still down after a key meeting got postponed.
The meeting between OPEC and Russia was scheduled for Monday, but sources familiar with the matter told CNBC it will “likely” take place Thursday. The delay comes after Trump told CNBC last week he expected both countries to cut production by up to 15 million barrels.
Trump’s comments helped U.S. crude post its biggest-ever weekly gain. West Texas Intermediate futures rallied 12% last week. WTI also jumped 24% on Thursday for its best day on record, lifting equity prices that day as concern about financial and job losses in the energy sector eased.
Crude has taken a beating this year as Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia failed to reach a deal on production cuts while the global spread of the coronavirus dampens the demand outlook for oil. Year to date, WTI has lost more than half of its value.
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—CNBC’s Eustance Huang contributed to this report.