Stocks rise as Trump, governors squabble over loosening coronavirus restrictions

Stocks rise as Trump, governors squabble over loosening coronavirus restrictions

Stocks took solid gains Tuesday amid a debate between President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE and U.S. governors over how soon states can begin relaxing economically restrictive social distancing orders meant to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a boost of 560 points Tuesday, rising 2.4 percent after closing with a loss of 1.5 percent to cap a wild Monday. The S&P 500 rose 3.1 percent, while the Nasdaq composite rose 4 percent. 

The stock market has toned down the weeks of volatility that defined February and March as the U.S. prepared for the steep medical and economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

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As of Tuesday morning, there are more than 580,000 confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19 resulting in more than 23,600 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The numbers of U.S. COVID-19 cases and fatalities are almost certain to increase drastically before the pandemic subsides. But public health officials and policymakers have seized on signs across the country that social distancing has helped slow the spread and lower projected casualties of the virus.

Trump and administration officials have expressed confidence that states hit early or lightly by COVID-19 can begin to loosen social distancing restrictions by May. The president also asserted Tuesday that he has the power to decide when and which states open despite the objections of governors and legal scholars.

“It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue,” Trump tweeted Monday. “A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

Governors across the U.S. pushed back on Trump as they formed regional groups to guide their decisions on when to begin reopening normal economic life.

"The president's position is just absurd. It's not the law. It's not the constitution. We don't have a king. We have a president,” said New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoEMILY's List announces early endorsement of Hochul Hochul jumps out to early lead in NY governor's primary: poll De Blasio privately says he plans to run for New York governor: report MORE (D) on Tuesday in an interview with CBS.

"This is a total reversal of the president's first position,” Cuomo continued. “He has total authority to open up the economy. Then why didn't he have authority to close the economy? Why did he leave it to the states and to the governors to close it down?"

Updated at 5:28 p.m.