After shouldering massive losses in March, Wall Street began to bounce back last month following signs that the coronavirus outbreak had plateaued in parts of the country and as many states are beginning to reopen nonessential businesses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index posted record improvement in April. The Dow closed up 11.08% and the S&P finished April up 12.68% — those are the best monthly gains for both indices since January 1987.
Footwear and retail companies saw their share prices rebound as well. Caleres’ stock jumped 112.86% to finish the month at $8.11, while Genesco rose 63.05% to $18.93, Crocs increased 56.05% to $24.25 and Designer Brands was up 55.64% to $6.35.
Other big gainers were Shoe Carnival (up 42.63% to $23.62), Nordstrom (up 41.31% to $18.78) and Tapestry (up 34.42% to $14.88).
Nike Inc. saw a more modest 10.03% gain in its stock price (finishing April at $87.18), however, the athletic giant has continued to exert its dominance in the athletic world throughout the COVID-19 crisis. According to The NPD Group Inc., the company had nine out of the 10 best-selling sneakers during Q1 2020. And the Swoosh reported that for its fiscal Q3 ended Feb. 29, revenue improved 7% on a currency-neutral basis, despite the closure of many of its factories and stores in Asia during that period.
Despite the recent gains, Wall Street has a long way to go to recoup the recent losses brought on by the pandemic. At press time, the S&P was still 15.72% below its all-time trading high of 3,393.52 (hit on Feb. 19), and the Dow was 19.02% below its Feb. 12 high of 29,568.57.
The market was trading down as of midday today, on investor fears of mounting jobless claims and a drop-off in consumer spending.