CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines, and what to watch as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep most of America on lockdown. On today's show, CNBC's Michael Sheetz explains what's at stake in tomorrow's historic SpaceX launch of two NASA astronauts. Plus, the latest on the development of a coronavirus vaccine as heavyweight Merck jumps into the race.
Here's everything else missed.
Dow rallies 500 points as Wall Street cheers on the economy reopening, JPMorgan jumps
Stocks surged on Tuesday, adding to their strong gains from last week, as optimism grew about the reopening of the economy and a potential coronavirus vaccine.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 529.95 points, or 2.2%, to close at 24,995.11. The 30-stock average briefly traded above 25,000 for the first time since early March before closing just below the mark.
U.S. drugmaker Merck on Tuesday said it plans to work alongside nonprofit scientific research organization IAVI to develop a potential vaccine against the coronavirus.
The news helped send Merck shares up about 3% during the premarket.
The announcement comes as drugmakers pause other clinical trials and scramble to find an antidote for Covid-19, which has infected more than 5.5 million people worldwide and killed over 346,000.
SpaceX is set for its most important milestone, a launch that may well define the future of the U.S. space program.
Elon Musk's company plans to launch two NASA astronauts on Wednesday — the first crewed mission in SpaceX history. The mission, called Demo-2, is technically the final test flight of the company's spacecraft. Regardless of the nature of the mission, Demo-2 will be the first launch of NASA astronauts from the U.S. since 2011.
"This is a new generation, a new era in spaceflight," NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.