Updated Mar 4, 2020 - Economy

Stocks jump 4% after coronavirus sell-off

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 03, 2020 in New York City

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Stocks closed up more than 4% on Wednesday afternoon, erasing all of yesterday's losses. The S&P 500 is 7.5% below record levels seen in mid-February.

Driving the news: The gains in the stock market were led by health care stocks, which analysts say got a boost from a strong Super Tuesday performance by Joe Biden — a candidate whose policies would be more favorable to the sector than those of Bernie Sanders. UnitedHealth, the country's biggest health insurer, had its best day in 10 years.

Between the lines: The near-daily swings of 2% or more in the past week have been tied to improving or worsening prospects for the global economy and the coronavirus — plus the willingness for governments and central banks to step in and lessen the blow.

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