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Markets soar, even as coronavirus cases explode

Markets soar, even as coronavirus cases explode
© Getty

U.S. stock markets on Monday opened to significant gains even as coronavirus cases continued to break records through the holiday weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 350 points, or 1.4 percent, while the S&P 500 was up 38 points, or 1.2 percent, in early trading.

Markets last week closed out strong heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, bolstered by a stronger-than-expected jobs report on Thursday. The report for June saw the addition of 4.8 million jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent from 13.3 percent.

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But states such as California, Texas and Florida have seen major spikes in COVID-19 cases, with hospitals in Houston and Tampa reporting that they are nearing capacity.

A large majority of states are experiencing upticks in the virus, with only a small handful managing to keep cases steady or declining as businesses have reopened nationwide.

The death toll, however, has not risen at the same pace. Experts say this may be because many of the infections are among younger people, but warn it could also because there is often a lag of several weeks between increased infections and increased deaths.

Despite the coronavirus news, markets appear convinced that a full steam economic recovery is underway.

They have recovered more than two-thirds of the steep losses they suffered in late February and March when the pandemic first took hold in the United States.