Stocks See Big Gains Post-Memorial Day Weekend as Lockdown Measures Ease

Wall Street saw significant gains after reopening post-Memorial Day Weekend — with investor confidence growing amid global economies reopening and news of a possible coronavirus vaccine.

At open this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 600 points, or 2.5%, the S&P 500 Index rose 2.2% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.6%.

Footwear and retail stocks experienced gains as well. As of 10:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Crocs shares jumped 10% to $29.38, DSW parent Designer Brands Inc. was up 8.26% to $6.03 and Skechers stock rose by 6.56% to $31.21. Meanwhile, Nordstrom stock was up 5.17% to $16.48, Journeys parent Genesco gained 4.55% to $18.39, Famous Footwear parent Caleres climbed 4.73% to $7.09, Under Armour grew 4.20% to $7.69.

Also seeing gains were Shoe Carnival, which was up 2.59% to $26.11, as well as Nike, which rose 3.31% to $96.80.

The coronavirus pandemic caused brick-and-mortar retail stores to temporarily close across the United States beginning in mid-March. With nonessential businesses shut and many impacted businesses resorting to mass layoffs and furloughs, 38.6 million Americans have filed initial jobless claims since mid-March, a record high. Additionally, coronavirus fears caused the Dow in March to lose all the gains it experienced in the four years since President Donald Trump’s election.

However, stocks have been rebounding since last month — in fact, the Dow and S&P 500 both saw record gains in April — with coronavirus cases plateauing and nonessential businesses beginning to reopen their doors. Post-Memorial Day Weekend, investors may feel that the worst is over as all U.S. states ease lockdown measures and other countries, such as Japan, Italy and the U.K., begin to reopen.

While trading has continued throughout the coronavirus crisis, the New York Stock Exchange floor today reopened after shuttering for two months in response to the pandemic. The area is now outfitted with plexiglass barriers to separate traders, and only a quarter of the usual number of people on the floor are allowed at one time. Masks are also required of the traders, who have been advised to avoid public transportation. The closure period marked the first time that virtual trading continued while the physical floor was shut.

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