Financial markets jumped substantially on Monday, recovering partially from the significant losses seen last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1,294 points, or 5%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are up 4.6% and 4.5% respectively.
Today's performance marks a major turnaround from last week, when all three major U.S. stock market indexes lost over 10% of their value in what was the worst five-day trading session since 2008. The main cause of last week's losses was due to the continued spread of the coronavirus outbreak, which saw an alarming number of COVID-19 infections in non-Asian countries, namely Italy and Iran.
Monday's stock market surge also seems to be unaffected by the growing number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. News broke this morning that the number of deaths had grown from just one on Friday to six. All of these cases were in Washington state, leading health authorities to worry that further outbreaks on the West coast are on the horizon.
The government's response
In response to the growing crisis, President Trump said he asked pharmaceutical companies to speed up work on potential COVID-19 treatments. The president, alongside other members of his administration, met with several executives from major healthcare firms on Monday.
At the moment, only two companies have COVID-19 treatments in clinical testing. The first is Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir, a former Ebola drug that's shown to be effective in treating COVID-19 symptoms. The other is an mRNA-based vaccine developed by Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA).