June 16 (UPI) — Surprising retail sales figures for May and positive trial results from a potential coronavirus treatment propelled U.S. stocks higher on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 526.82 points, or 2.04 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 1.90 percent and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.75 percent.
The Commerce Department said in its monthly report U.S. retail sales increased by nearly 18 percent last month, surprising many analysts who’d projected growth of less than 10 percent.
Kohl’s stock increased by 8.96 percent on Tuesday and Simon Property Group, the largest shopping mall operator in the United States, rose 1.52 percent.
Also, trial results announced Tuesday showed that dexamethasone — showed that treatment with a low dose of the steroid reduced the risk for death among COVID-19 patients on ventilator support by more than 30 percent.
Other stocks that would benefit from the wide-scale reopening of the economy, such as airlines and cruise lines, also benefitted Tuesday.
United Airlines stock rose 3.10 percent, Delta gained 2.76 percent and American Airlines grew 1.98 percent, while Carnival stock surged 5.07 percent, Norwegian Cruise Line increased 4.80 percent and Royal Caribbean climbed 2.69 percent.
Also influencing stocks Tuesday is the congressional testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. He began two days of testimony on Capitol Hill, where he will update lawmakers on the state of the U.S. economy and future recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In testimony Tuesday, Powell said the domestic economy likely won’t see a full recovery until the public is confident the pandemic is contained.
Stocks fell from their highs of the day after Powell’s testimony but still ended the day with gains.
The Dow made a significant rebound on Monday, opening with a decline of more than 700 points but closing up 157 points at day’s end.