U.S. Stocks Rise on Loosening Business Restrictions and Vaccine News
U.S. stocks saw some gains on Tuesday by midday on the optimism of more states easing mandates on businesses and the hopes for an early Covid-19 vaccine.
California's Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that clothing stores, florists, and bookstores will be allowed to offer curbside pickup services beginning Friday. While guidelines for reopenings will be announced Thursday, the Democratic governor warned that the virus is still very much in the state.
"Millions of Californians answered the call to stay home and thanks to them, we are in a position to begin moving into our next stage of modifying our stay-at-home order," Newsom said.
He added, "But make no mistake -- this virus isn't gone. It's still dangerous and poses a significant public health risk."
In a time like this, it's important to move forward cautiously and listen to health experts. Otherwise, you get the mess that has escalated in Georgia, which has now seen cases spike past 29,400 with 1,243 deaths. Good going Governor Brian Kemp, who lifted stay-at-home order Friday. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has called the decision a "very reckless path".
To fellow New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state was continuing to see declines in hospitalizations. However, he still wants to see those numbers tumble more before reopening businesses in the state. New York's pause order is scheduled to end on May 15.
Becoming the latest to join human testing for vaccines was Pfizer, (NYSE: PFE); a trial will enroll up to 360 "healthy subjects," the company announced Tuesday. By midday, the stock was up nearly 3% at $38.74 per share.
Also, there was some good news for oil and gas companies today, as the Crude Oil WTI soared more than 15% to $23.50 a barrel, as of midday. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) rose 2% $45.80 per share and Warren Buffet's investment Occidental Petroleum Corp., (NYSE: OXY) gained 3% at $16.05 per share.
Overall it's been a positive day for the U.S. benchmarks, as the Dow Jones rose 1% to 24,111.84 points, while the S&P 500 gained more than 48 points to 2,891.13.
However, we are far from finding an ending to the deadly pandemic. According to a draft government report, Covid-19 is expected to claim more than 3,000 lives a day by June 1.