Stocks surge on signs coronavirus spread is easing; earnings season kicks off

Stocks rallied on some signs the coronavirus outbreak is either leveling off or easing, with traders assessing the first reports of the cloudy corporate earnings season.

The S&P 500 jumped to a one-month high while giant technology companies pushed the Nasdaq 100 through its 50, 100 and 200-day moving averages. Johnson & Johnson surged after posting stronger sales and boosting its quarterly dividend. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. slumped as their profits were hit by major provisions. Treasuries rose, the U.S. dollar retreated against its major peers and oil tumbled.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 560.43 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 23,951.2, the S&P 500 gained 84.12 points, or 3.05 per cent, to 2,845.75 and the Nasdaq Composite added 323.32 points, or 3.95 per cent, to 8,515.74.

Canada’s main stock index resumed its climb in a broad-based rally despite another drop in crude

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What is contact tracing and how can it help fight the new coronavirus? By Reuters

© Reuters. A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters) – Contact tracing has been used for decades to control the spread of infectious diseases. The basic idea is simple: track down infected people, then find everyone who has been near them and encourage those people to stay home until it is clear they are not sick.

Right now, stay-at-home orders are being used worldwide to minimize the potential for people infected with the novel coronavirus to spread it. When restrictions are lifted and normal activities resume, extensive contact tracing will be needed to prevent new outbreaks.

Here’s what you need to know about contact tracing:

HOW DOES CONTACT TRACING WORK?

First, public health investigators find out everyone an infected person has seen,

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Trump’s name will be on stimulus checks—after he denied wanting his name on stimulus checks

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President Donald Trump’s signature will appear on the $1,200 checks being mailed to low- and middle-income households in the coming weeks, according to two officials familiar with the decision.

Typically, a civil servant’s signature—the disbursing officer for the payment center—would appear on regular government benefit checks or one-time economic stimulus payments.

At a press briefing on April 3, Trump denied wanting to have his name appear on the mailed payments.

“Do I want to sign them? No,” he said, but called the plan to send more than $292 million to American households a “Trump administration initiative.”

The addition of the president’s signature won’t delay the payments, a Treasury spokeswoman said. The Internal Revenue Service plans to mail the first wave of checks next week, according to … Read More