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Coronavirus hopes, healthcare sector lift stocks

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A sense of hope returned to Wall Street on Wednesday on optimism the coronavirus outbreak may be close to its peak.

President Trump said as much - - and for the second day in a row, the governor of New York State - the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S - said social distancing was working in slowing the spread.

The Dow & S&P 500 jumped more than 3 percent. The Nasdaq was up more than 2 percent.

Another reason behind Wednesday's rebound: Health insurers were in rally mode after Vermont senator Bernie Sanders ended his 20020 Democratic presidential campaign. Sanders' Medicare-for-all policy aimed to abolish private insurance. Shares of medical insurance companies such as UnitedHealth Group, Anthem and Cigna surged on the news.

Ross Gerber is CEO of Gerber Kawasaki.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): ROSS GERBER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GERBER KAWASAKI, SAYING: "Bernie Sanders pulling out is obviously super bullish for capitalism., so that's going to give stocks at least a few points up. but I suspect everybody though that was bound to happen. And as far as coronavirus news: I'm actually optimistic that we're at the worse now and we're going to see big improvements over the next 30 days in the amount of people being sick and the amount of people getting better. Some investors may be optimistic but Main Street is still facing dark days. In the state of Florida, rows of cars lined up FOR PEOPLE to file for unemployment benefits. Claims soared in recent weeks with an unprecedented 10 million Americans filing for benefits.

And for some - it's going to get worse.

Tesla is furloughing all non-essential workers, cutting pay for salaried employees by 10% and for some executives by 30%, according to an email seen by Reuters.

Boeing's top supplier - Spirit AeroSystems said workers at plants in Oklahoma and Kansas responsible for making Boeing parts will be furloughed, as it temporarily halts production of all Boeing components. Executives are taking a pay cut there as well.

AND...In the first glimpse of the damage inflicted on a major fast-food chain due to the health crisis… McDonald's pulled forecasts for the year after posting a 22 percent plunge in global restaurant sales in March.

Finally, Oil prices jumped sharply ahead of a Thursday meeting of OPEC and its allies. The group known as OPEC+ is expected to announce a global production cut in supplies to reverse a crash in oil prices.

Video Transcript

[BELL RINGING]

- A sense of hope returned to Wall Street on Wednesday on optimism the coronavirus outbreak may be close to its peak. President Trump said as much. And for the second day in a row, the governor of New York state, the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, said social distancing was working in slowing the spread. The Dow and S&P 500 jumped more than 3%. The NASDAQ was up more than 2%.

Another reason behind Wednesday's rebound, health insurers were in rally mode after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ended his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. Sanders's Medicare for All policy aimed to abolish private insurance. Shares of medical insurance companies, such as UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, and Cigna, surged on the news. Ross Gerber is CEO of Gerber Kawasaki.

ROSS GERBER: Well, you know, Bernie Sanders pulling out is obviously super bullish for capitalism, so, you know, that's going to give stocks at least a few points up. But I think everybody probably suspected that was-- was bound to happen. And-- and as far as coronavirus news, I'm-- I'm actually optimistic that we're at the worst now, and we're going to see big improvements over the next 30 days in-- in the amount of people being sick and on the amount of people getting better.

- Some investors may be optimistic, but Main Street is still facing dark days. In the state of Florida, rows of cars lined up for people to file for unemployment benefits. Claims soared in recent weeks, with an unprecedented 10 million Americans filing for benefits. And for some, it's going to get worse. Tesla's furloughing all non-essential workers, cutting pay for salaried employees by 10%, and for some executives by 30%, according to an email seen by Reuters. Boeing's top supplier, Spirit Aerosystems, said workers at plants in Oklahoma and Kansas responsible for making Boeing parts will be furloughed, as it temporarily halts production of all Boeing components. Executives are taking a pay cut there as well.

And in the first glimpse of the damage inflicted on a major fast food chain due to the health crisis, McDonald's pulled forecasts for the year after posting a 22% plunge in global restaurant sales in March. Finally, oil prices jumped sharply ahead of a Thursday meeting of OPEC and its allies. The group, known as OPEC Plus, is expected to announce a global production cut in supplies to reverse a crash in oil prices.