A worldwide rally swept markets on Friday as investors latched into strands of hope about progress in the fight against the coronavirus. The S&P 500 climbed close to two percent in the first few minutes of trading, following up on three percent jumps in Europe and Asia.
President Donald Trump announced a three-phased plan to restart the U.S economy that has been ravaged by the pandemic. Trump has given U.S governors a road map for recovering their state’s economics and returning to normal activity.
China is acknowledging that the coronavirus death toll for the epicenter of Wuhan was 50 percent higher than previously reported. The country also faces a struggle to revive its economy that suffered its biggest contraction since the mid-1960s after millions were told to stay home to fight the coronavirus. Data shows the world’s second-largest economy shrank by 6.8 percent from a year earlier in the quarter ending in March.
In U.S more than 662,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus, and almost 29,000 people have died.
The U.S Department of Labor says that more than 100,000 Virginians have filed unemployment claims in the past week. This is a significant drop from the nearly 150,000 from a week before but still, a massive number compared to filings before the coronavirus outbreak. More than 415,000 claims were filed in the last month.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam will hold a news conference today at 2 p.m to provide an update on his administration’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a possibility that he could address the reopening of the state in the briefing. The news conference comes as the Virginia Department of Health reports the number of positive cases in the Commonwealth increased to almost 7,500 cases, more than 1,200 people have been hospitalized, and 231 people have died. At least 49,000 people have been tested.
NASA scientists announced Wednesday that they’ve discovered an earth-sized exoplanet that is remarkably similar to ours. NASA says a team of transatlantic scientists were looking through old observations from the now-retired Kepler space telescope when they discovered the planet, Kepler-1649C orbiting in its star’s habitable zone. The planet is located 300 light-years away and is most similar to earth in size and estimated temperature.