The stock market rallied following President Donald Trump’s statement that he hopes to “reopen America” by Easter Sunday in what Fox News’s Bill Hemmer described as a “Great American Resurrection.” The stocks also seem to have responded to news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was dropping her Christmas wish-list bill and decided to make a deal on the Senate stimulus package Democrats twice rejected on Sunday and Monday.
In the last hour of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped a record-breaking 2,112 points in the largest one-day gain ever, Fox News reported. This represented an 11 percent gain, while the S&P 500 gained 9.3 percent and the Nasdaq rose more than 8.1 percent.
The rally followed a plunge among the major average on Monday despite the Federal Reserve announcing it would buy unlimited amounts of assets to support the economy. Monday’s 3 percent drop left the Dow at a three-year low and on track for its worst month since September 1931, early in the Great Depression.
Airline stock soared as the stimulus bill’s chances ticked up and as The Wall Street Journal reported that the companies are planning a voluntary shutdown of domestic air travel. American Airlines posted a 35 percent gain, with United Airlines (24.5 percent), Delta Air Lines (19 percent), and Southwest Airlines (11 percent) also rallying. Other travel-related businesses, like cruise lines and online booking sites, also witnessed gains.
Commodities gained, with gold rising 6 percent to $1,660.20 an ounce and West Texas Intermediate crude oil rising nearly 3 percent to $24.01 a barrel. Markets surged in Europe and Asia, as well.
The stock market jump followed Trump’s bullish declaration, “I would love to have the country opened up and rarin’ to go by Easter.” He added, “People are going to have to practice all of the social distancing … but our country wants to go back to work.”
The president spoke for many when he tweeted, “Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!”
Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
Stopping the spread of the coronavirus must remain the number one priority, and the Easter timeline is extremely aggressive. Health officials will have to reassess the situation, and it seems that even if some reopening can begin by April 12, many precautions will have to remain in place, lest Americans lose the hard-won benefits these last few weeks of relative shutdown have afforded the country.
Trump’s push for a “great American resurrection” is heartening, however, as is Pelosi’s decision to give up on her ridiculous Christmas wish-list bill. The stock market rally may not last, but it does highlight the importance of hope and the need for Congress to put aside partisan rancor and actually help Americans in the midst of this crisis. As the Heritage Foundation noted, the Senate bailout bill needs some serious changes, but it still represents the best hope for a stop-gap measure before Americans can begin to go back to something resembling normal life.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.