Stocks

Dow Futures Rise as Market Looks Past Coronavirus

Continued optimism about the path of the coronavirus has helped boost stocks.

Continued optimism about the path of the coronavirus has helped boost stocks.

8:02 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average looks set for a higher open Tuesday following Monday’s gains as investors appear ready to look past the coronavirus to a world where life slowly returns to normal.

Dow futures have gained 357 points, or 1.5%, while S&P 500 futures have risen 1.3%, and Nasdaq Composite futures have advanced 1.1%.

“Coronavirus headlines were mostly positive overnight as there were reports of expanded testing capabilities in the U.S., the growth rate of new cases continues to slow in the U.S., and states across the country are beginning the process of lifting COVID-19 containment policies,” writes The Sevens Report’s Tom Essaye.

Markets seem to be adjusting in real-time to the possibility that economically sensitive companies might not be hit as hard as originally expected. Yesterday saw a major shift in the type of stocks investors were favoring. After weeks of buying FAANGs and defensive stocks, the market suddenly started rewarding riskier fare like financials and small-caps. And that looks set to continue today, with the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) up 1.7% in pre-open trading, and the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) up 2.1%.

Earnings continue apace, but don’t appear to be impacting the overall direction of the market. UPS (UPS) has dropped 3.7% to $98.80, while Southwest Airlines (LUV) has fallen 1.6% to $28.63, but stocks impacted by the coronavirus are more than making up for it, as L Brands (LB) has gained 7% to $12.30, and MGM Resorts International (MGM) is up 5.9% to $16.13.

As long as that optimism persists, so will this rally.

Write to Ben Levisohn at Ben.Levisohn@barrons.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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