Stocks spike as President Trump declares national emergency

Kirsten Korosec

President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, which began just a half hour before the market closed, pushed stocks higher Friday, providing at least temporary relief to shares that have been throttled this week on fears of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump detailed several measures under the national emergency declaration, including freeing up federal resources that states can access as they respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new virus that is a member of the coronavirus family and a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. The spread of the disease has prompted governments and  companies to cancel tech, business and automotive events around the world.

All major indices and bitcoin were up earlier today on speculation that the Trump administration would declare a national emergency. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had jumped by 1,200 earlier in the day, but fell some 500 points by the afternoon.

The market roared back in the final moments before close as Trump, along with other health officials and the CEOs of private companies, including Target, Walgreens, Walmart and CVS, outlined plans under the emergency declaration.

In spite of the bump, stock markets sustained one of their worst weeks in recent history. Stocks yesterday recorded their worst day in over 30 years.

At the close, markets were up:

  • The Dow Jones was up 1,980, or 9.4%, to 23,182 at the close
  • The Nasdaq was up 673 points, or 9.35%, to 7,874.23 at the close
  • The S&P 500 was up 230 points, or 9.2%, to 2,711.02 at the close

Shares rise

Companies that were mentioned during the president's address saw shares rise in line with the major indices, and in some cases out-pacing them.

During his address in the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump praised the work being done by corporations like Roche, which has developed a diagnostic tool that can more quickly identify infections. Roche shares rose 13% to close at $40.30.

Shares of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also spiked more than 9% to close at $1,214.27. Trump announced during his address that Google will be bringing a new pre-screening website online that anyone can access to check their symptoms and be directed to testing locations around the country.

Shares of Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens were all higher. The companies are partnering with the federal government's plan to open drive-thru testing sites for COVID-19. Walmart shares closed 9.66% higher, at $114.10; Target shares closed more than 9% higher, at $101.02; and Walgreens was up 12.6%, to close at $46.19.