• Futures predict another welcome rally for all three major indices Tuesday
  • Monday's monster rally saw the Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ jump by more than 7%
  • Stocks, however, remain deep in bear-market territory

Investors clung to statements by New York health officials that the peak for COVID-19 infections might have passed, sending stock futures up Tuesday and indicating another market rally on the back of Monday's monster jump.

Also cause for investor cheer: South Korea reporting less than 50 new cases of infection Tuesday for the second straight day and China reporting no new deaths April 6, the first time since January when it began publishing daily casualty updates.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 81 points in early Tuesday morning trading, pointing to loss of some 151 points at the open. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures also headed toward lower opens for the two indices. Later in the early hours of the day, however, the spate of somewhat positive headlines pointing to continuing success over COVID-19 saw Dow futures jump 478 points, suggesting a gain of about 408.01 points at Tuesday’s open. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures also pointed to opening gains for both indices.

“The apex in New York state is likely imminent as opposed to one month out,” said Marko Kolanovic, JPMorgan’s global head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy. “Big data indicated very early on that social distancing is working overall.”

Analysts said a second straight rally will give some investors enough reason to return to equities despite news the U.S. still has to reach its peak daily death rate two weeks from now. A renewed rally will be a welcome continuation to Monday's jump that saw all three major indices rocketing more than 7% on news the COVID-19 case toll seems to be slowing down in New York State and in a number of European countries, such as Italy, Spain and France -- the three hardest hit.

The Dow jumped by 1,627.46 points, or 7.7%, at 22,679.99. The benchmark S&P 500 advanced 7.0% to close at 2,663.68 while the Nasdaq Composite surged 7.3% to 7,913.24. The major indices rallied to their session highs toward the end of the day. The Dow briefly traded more than 1,700 points higher at this time.

“We’re running on raw optimism, maybe that’s the best way to put it,” noted Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Schwab Center for Financial Research.

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Leading the Dow higher was Boeing that shot up 19.8% to $148.77; American Express (up 13.9% to $83.87) and Visa (up 11.7% to $169.44).

The S&P 500's climb was led by the information technology sector (up 8.7%), utilities (up 7.9%) and consumer discretionary (up 7.7%). Retail stocks soared, with Nordstrom up 24.1%, Kohl’s (up 22.9%) and Macy’s (up 17.1%).

The S&P 500 has rebounded more than 21% from an intraday low on March 23. The Dow has regained some 24% since that time.

On Monday, investors were buoyed by data suggesting a slowing down of COVID-19 cases in New York State over a three-day period. New York State also reported 594 new coronavirus deaths Sunday, compared to 630 Saturday, which is the first daily decline in coronavirus-related deaths.