What happened

The stock market started the week off with a bang. As of 2:50 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both up by nearly 6%.

Although many stocks were in the green on Monday, some were doing much better than the market average. Two of the session's top performers were real estate disruptors Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) (NASDAQ:ZG) and Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN), which jumped 19% and 18%, respectively.

House with for sale sign in front with sold sticker over it.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both Zillow and Redfin had placed their iBuyer programs on hold. And there have been multiple reports that Zillow has been terminating existing agreements under its Zillow Offers iBuyer businesses due to the outbreak.

In addition, the coronavirus crisis is a generally negative catalyst for the rest of the companies' businesses. Fewer homes are being listed and actively marketed, as many homebuyers and sellers are in "wait-and-see" mode.

The spike in the share price is likely due to the first good news we've heard relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be clear, we've certainly received some good news on the economic side of things (the CARES Act and other relief efforts), but not when it comes to the spread of the virus itself.

Over the past weekend, new infection numbers and death rates in Italy and several other COVID-19 hotspots started to noticeably decline. And here in the U.S., it appears that hard-hit New York could be trending in the right direction.

Now what

To be clear, we're a long way from being able to reopen the economy. People are still getting sick and dying from COVID-19 in large numbers. However, the recent news is giving stock investors hope that it might not be as long as previously feared.