Stocks Post Record Gains As Coronavirus Testing Initiatives Announced, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS On Board

Stock market indices rebounded on Friday with strong 9.4% gains -- the best one-day gain since 2008, coming a day after the stocks witnessed dramatic, record-breaking declines due to coronavirus concerns.

Media stocks were also higher on Friday. Three main media/entertainment market indices were sharply higher.

The biggest gain was in the Dow Jones Media Agencies Index -- 11% higher to 442.02. The Dow Jones U.S. Broadcasting & Entertainment Index grew 9.5% to 1,234, while the Dow Jones Media Index was up 9.4% to 822.03.

Similarly, the Dow Jones Industrials Index was up 9.4% -- 1,985 points -- to 23,185.

Looking at individual stocks, Comscore was up 24% to $3.07, while Gray Television was 22% higher to $12.23 and News Corp added 14% to $10.47.

More widely held media stocks also saw strong double-digit percentage gains: Comcast Corp. was up 13% to $39.33; Walt Disney was 12% higher to $102.52; Nexstar Media Group was 13% higher to $76.80; and Nielsen Holdings was up 10% to $15.05.



Looking at the major digital media companies -- the so-called FAANG stocks -- Facebook was 11% higher to $170.28, while Apple was 12% higher to $277.97; Amazon, up 6.5% to $1,785, Netflix, 6.7% higher to $336.30 and Google, 9.4% more to $1,219.

Those that had lesser improvements but were still positive performers on the day included Charter Communications, 6.2% more to $454.19; ViacomCBS, up 3.1% to $16.40; Discovery, 2.7% higher to $22.89; and Roku, gaining 2.7% to $80.95.

Stocks that went down on the day include Sinclair Broadcast Group, down 1.7% to $16.15; Rubicon Project, slipping 1.1% to $6.02; and Telaria, a bit lower by 0.2% to $6.50.

Overall, stock market indices are still down 22% to 25% from mid-February highs due to concerns that the Coronavirus could result in an economic slowdown. There are concerns that people staying at home -- in order to avoid the virus, for those have symptoms, or for those directed to stay at home from employers -- won’t be buying products, or will not be contributing to economic growth at work.

Late on Friday, just before the markets closed, President Trump announced a national state of emergency, as well as offering new initiatives around more wide-scale testing for the virus.

That kicked up the markets, which were trading around 2% to 3% higher at the time to more than 9% at the markets' close.

The new initiatives were backed by a number of major companies such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and others -- with senior executives who appeared at the Trump press conference. As part of this, the Trump Administration announced that a drive-through testing plan would have Walmart providing parking site availability for the tests.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrials Index dramatically sank 10% -- losing more than 2,300 points -- a decline that has not been seen since 1987.

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