U.S. stocks climbed on Monday after President Donald Trump said he will be discharged from the hospital Monday evening, easing concerns about more political uncertainty ahead of Election Day.
Investors also grew
more hopeful that lawmakers would reach a compromise on a new stimulus
deal. Trump’s illness, as well as a weak September jobs report,
highlighted the urgency for further coronavirus aid after a months-long
stalemate in Washington.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 465.77 points, or 1.7%, to 28,148.58. The S&P 500 rose 1.8%, or 60.17 points, to 3,408.61, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.2%, or 257.47 points, to 11,332.49.
Stocks jumped to their session highs after Trump said in an afternoon tweet that he will be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at 6:30 p.m. ET, just three days after he entered the hospital to be treated for coronavirus.
Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley said Monday the president’s condition has “continued to improve” over the past 24 hours, but cautioned that “he may not entirely be out of the woods yet.”
Conley added the president will receive his fifth and final dose of antiviral drug remdesivir at the White House Tuesday night.
Wall Street had been more concerned after his doctors said Sunday they had begun treating him with dexamethasone, a steroid recommended for severe cases of Covid-19. The president was said to have experienced two drops in his oxygen levels since his diagnosis announcement just before 1 a.m. ET on Friday.
More stimulus talks
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held an hourlong phone call Monday and discussed “the justifications for various numbers” and “plan to exchange paper” in preparation for further discussions on Tuesday, Pelosi’s chief of staff said.
“I think this [rally] is more stimulus. I really do,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday. “This is hope on talks between Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi.”
Optimism for reaching a compromise rose recently after Pelosi said Trump’s diagnosis could change the dynamic of talks toward an agreement. Pelosi on Friday called on the airline industry to delay furloughs, saying additional relief for the industry is “imminent.”
The president also put pressure on Congress over the weekend to get a deal done, saying in a tweet that lawmakers should “WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE.”
After Trump’s diagnosis, former Vice President Joe Biden opened his widest lead in a month in the presidential race with 51% of those polled backing him and 41% saying they would vote for Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday from October 2-3.
A win for the former vice president in November could spell headaches for Wall Street in the form of higher taxes and tighter regulations, but some also say it could lead to a bigger fiscal stimulus deal that would be good for stocks.
At the same time, a convincing win could ease concerns about a drawn-out or contested election result.
“Markets seem (to) have lowered the chance of prolonged uncertainty post-November 3,” wrote Ajay Rajadhyaksha, head of macro research at Barclays. “Given that Vice President Biden has been ahead in most polls, this suggests that markets are assigning a bit more probability to his win and a bit less to a close and contested outcome.”
Trump’s sickened condition also emphasized the gravity of the pandemic that is still roiling major states and cities in the country. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that nine ZIP codes in Brooklyn and Queens will most likely shut down on Wednesday due to a recent spike in new cases.
Despite Trump’s diagnosis, major averages all eked out modest gains last week. The S&P 500 climbed 1.5% for its first positive week in five.
— CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed reporting.
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