Stocks rose sharply on Wednesday, lifted in part by solid retail earnings

Posted on May 20, 2020

Here are the three big stories that are moving the market this morning:

  • Strong results amid a lockdown from Lowe’s helped market sentiment. The home improvement retailer reported a same-store sales increase for the first quarter of 11.2%. The shares jumped 7% in premarket trading.
  • In another sign of economic activity amid the pandemic, Target said a surge in digital sales fueled a 10.8% increase in same-store sales last quarter. The shares, which are up 13% in the last one month, fell slightly in premarket trading.
  • Investors continue to watch how the reopening of states is going and so far there doesn’t appear to be major spikes in the virus. Oil continued to trade higher on Wednesday as traders bet on more driving activity.

Fueling the recent volatility is uncertainty around a possible coronavirus treatment and vaccine, and how state and local economies will fare as they prepare to re-open.