Stocks Ended Higher amid Coronavirus Treatment Hopes

U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday, driven by hopes that stepped up containment efforts and work toward new vaccines could blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 483.22 points, or 1.68%, to 29,290.85. The S&P 500 gained 37.10 points, or 1.13%, to 3,334.69. The Nasdaq Composite added 40.71 points, or 0.43%, to 9,508.68.

Oil futures finished higher on Wednesday after U.S. government data revealed a drop in both U.S. gasoline and distillate stockpiles. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose $1.14, or 2.3%, to settle at $50.75 a barrel. April Brent crude gained $1.32, or nearly 2.5%, to $55.28 a barrel.

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