Dow gains 369 points on trader optimism around a COVID-19 treatment

From Market Insider

  • US stocks rose on Friday as traders cheered advances in coronavirus treatment.
  • Gilead Sciences said on Friday that an analysis of clinical-trial data for its remdesivir drug found a 62% reduction in mortality risk among severe COVID-19 patients.
  • Still, the US on Thursday reported 63,200 new coronavirus cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

US stocks rose on Friday as news about advances in coronavirus treatment outweighed another record spike in cases.

Gilead Sciences said on Friday that an analysis of clinical-trial data for its remdesivir drug found a 62% reduction in mortality risk among severely ill COVID-19 patients compared with standard care. Shares of Gilead climbed more than 2%.

Investors again shrugged off a spike in cases of COVID-19. On Thursday, the US reported 63,200 new coronavirus cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Florida, Texas, and California also reported record numbers of new COVID-19 deaths.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Friday:

Bank stocks led the S&P 500 higher as investors looked ahead to the start of earnings season. Goldman Sachs gained more than 4%, while Wells Fargo and Citigroup each rose more than 5%.

Technology stocks lagged after leading the Nasdaq Composite to multiple record highs in recent trading sessions.

The so-called reopening trade outperformed, with shares of United AirlinesDelta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines all gaining. Cruise line Carnival surged as much as 12%, while Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line also posted strong gains.

Oil rose even as the International Energy Agency said the increase in coronavirus cases could hurt the market recovery. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 2.9%, to $40.77 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, climbed 2.5%, to $43.42 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Earnings season starts next week for US companies, which could test investor risk appetites.

“The second-quarter results are set to lay bare the pandemic’s impact to a greater extent compared to the previous quarter’s figures and this could prove to be one of Wall Street’s worst earnings seasons,” said Han Tan, a market analyst at FXTM. “It remains to be seen whether market participants have the stomach to digest such despairing numbers.”

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