Tech rally leads US stocks higher

Led by tech giants, Wall Street stocks finished solidly higher Wednesday as investor optimism over the reopening of the economy offset worries about the hit from coronavirus shutdowns.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.1 percent to 9,375.78, with Amazon and Facebook both closing at all-time highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.5 percent to 24,575.90, while the broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.7 percent to 2,971.61.

Stocks have had a topsy-turvy week, rallying hard on Monday, retreating on Tuesday and bouncing again Wednesday as investors weigh the latest on the coronavirus.

Both Amazon and Facebook surged following new program announcements in the last day that pushed their businesses ahead at a time when many consumers are stuck at home because of the coronavirus.

Facebook rocketed 6.0 percent higher after unveiling tools for retailers hit by the pandemic to create online storefronts at the social network and Instagram, while Amazon advanced 2.0 percent as it released the online game "Crucible" as a potential rival to monster hit "Fortnite."

After a terrible March, stocks have lately risen on hopes the US economy will quickly bottom out and rebound solidly.

But Federal Reserve minutes showed worries about the lasting damage from COVID-19 on businesses.

Policymakers worried that "even after social-distancing requirements were eased, some business models may no longer be economically viable," especially if consumers decide to "avoid participating in particular forms of economic activity," the minutes said.

Big-box retailer Target fell 2.9 percent after reporting an 11.3 percent jump in first-quarter revenues to $19.6 billion. However, the company suffered a 64.3 percent drop in profits to $284 million due to higher costs.

The results demonstrated the juggling act essential stores are doing during the COVID-19 crisis as they bonuses to hourly workers and spend more on cleaning.