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Major indexes surged in early trading before paring gains throughout the afternoon and closing in negative territory.
"The world has finally seen a glimpse of light at the end of this dark tunnel," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.
A Goldman Sachs survey of big-money investors found that half think the stock market has further to fall
Of the 1,800 institutional investors surveyed by Goldman, roughly 75% still think the S&P 500 is in a bear market.
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’: Stocks surge as fewer new coronavirus cases signal lockdowns are working
"This does not mean that the confinement measures will be withdrawn soon, but it allows investors to see the light at the end of the tunnel."
All 30 stocks in the Dow closed higher as optimism mounted around a flatter curve for coronavirus infections.
"There is worse to come, hard though that may be to imagine," said a group of analysts from TS Lombard.
Spain and Italy reported their lowest death tolls in more than two weeks, while New York notched its first single-day decline in new virus deaths.
‘Shrugging off the pessimism’: Stocks rally on early signs that lockdowns are working against coronavirus
Italy suffered its fewest deaths from the disease in two weeks on Sunday, while casualties in France and Spain fell to multi-day lows.
The 701,000 US jobs lost during the March period snapped a 113-quarter streak of additions dating back to 2010.
"Even after the health crisis has peaked, the economic ramifications are set to continue to be a drag on risk assets,"said Han Tan of FXTM.