Economic hopes propel stocks to multi-month highs

A Wall Street bounce-back held firm on Wednesday as investors bet the worst is over for the economy with nearly every U.S. state reopened in some form.

The S&P 500 rallied to a two-month high, while the Nasdaq closed at levels not seen in more than three months and is now just 4-1/2 percent below the record set in February.

Facebook and Amazon, which both hit fresh all-time highs during the session, gave the Nasdaq a boost.

Liz Miller, president, Summit Place Financial Advisors:

"I think the strength we're seeing today in the market just continues to reflect U.S. investors in particular want to be positive. They want to be optimistic. In many ways what we're seeing is that they are focusing very short term. What I mean by that is that we are seeing movement on nuggets of positive information even though six months from now is so unclear; even though 12 months is a big question mark."

Corporate headlines didn't rock the boat.

Target is a victim of its own success. Quarterly results were better than expected Online sales surged 141 percent last quarter as shoppers flocked to the discount retailer's website during the shutdown but profits plunged more than 64 percent. The company had to spend more on shipping, increased safety measures, and higher wages. Target expects that to be part of its new normal and is setting aside nearly half a billion dollars to cover future costs. Shares of Target were down.

Home improvement retailer Lowe's posted its biggest increase in sales in at least 15 years, but CEO Marvin Ellison doesn't expect that rapid pace of sales gain to continue. Lowe's finished higher.

And the Federal Reserve also added to the stock surge. Minutes released from the Fed's last meeting suggest policymakers are ready to add further stimulus as they fear the possibility of a "protracted period of severely reduced economic activity." Besides keeping its key interest rate near zero, the Fed had a broad debate on what other tools it can use to prevent the economy from falling off a cliff. Earlier this week Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stood by his call for Congress to consider more fiscal spending in order to cushion the economy.