U.S. equity markets rallied to session highs Wednesday with the S&P 500 exiting its bear market as Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign. Stocks also saw support from a surge in oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 779 points, or 3.4 percent, while the S&P 500 rose by 3.4 percent as well and Nasdaq Composite 2.6 percent.

Sanders, I-Vt., suspending his campaign leaves former Vice President Joe Biden as the likely nominee to take on President Trump in the November election. It also opens the door for several females to potentially become Biden's running mate, as reported by FOX Business' Charlie Gasparino who lists Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris as front runners.

Another supporting factor for equities was oil. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 6.18 percent to $25.09 a barrel ahead of Thursday’s key meeting between OPEC and its allies. S&P energy stocks gained nearly 7 percent helping lift the broader index.

Additionally, FOX Business reported the IRS is speeding up printing of stimulus checks which could be delivered as soon as next week, earlier than the Treasury Department's April 17 initial date.

The major averages had posted smaller gains earlier Wednesday amid optimism that hospitalizations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to plateau in some of the hardest-hit areas of the country. President Trump on Tuesday evening said parts of the economy could be opened in the not too distant future.

Carnival Cruise Line rallied for a third day after Saudi Arabia’s investment fund announced on Monday it had taken an 8 percent stake in the heavily beaten-down cruise operator. Read more at FOX Business