What started as a sell-off Thursday in New York and Toronto ended in a rally against a backdrop of hope, fear and uncertainty as economies continue to gradually reopen.The Dow gained 1.62%, lifted by tech, financials and healthcare, and led by American Express (7.41%) and UnitedHealth Group (4.54%). Chipmakers like Micron, up 5.05%, also enjoyed a good session. In all, the Dow swung 780 points on Thursday.
Less dramatic were the Nasdaq, rising 0.91% and the S&P, climbing 1.15%. This follows two days of sharp selling as well as the latest jobless report that stated nearly 3 million Americans joined the jobless ranks. At the same time, major businesses like McDonald’s (1.5%) continued to announce their reopening plans.
In contrast, investors on the TSX were more cautious as the Toronto index barely closed in the positive at 0.04%. This despite WCS soaring nearly 10% to approach $28 per barrel. Real estate and materials were the only sectors that rallied, with Barrick Gold jumping 3.42%, but Enbridge shedding 2.36%. American Hotel Income Properties REIT with operations in the U.S., soared over 14% after issuing a positive earnings report and outlook. Headlines noted that the Bank of Canada is confident that Canadian banks will manage the Covid-19 fall-out, and Ontario announced its first phase of reopening on May 19 as cases continue to decline.