All three US equity indexes surged on Friday as the White House’s plan for an economic reopening lifted investor sentiment.
- Positive results reported from Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment trials offered new optimism that an effective drug could arrive sooner than expected.
- The market posted its second straight week of gains, despite economic data pointing to a deep economic recession.
- Watch major indexes update live here .
US stocks soared on Friday, capping a second consecutive week of gains, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spur recession fears.
All three major indexes jumped as investors cheered the White House’s plan for an economic reopening . The Trump administration announced on Thursday night its guidelines for bringing states’ economies back online after weeks of business closures and work-from-home activity.
The plan includes three phases for relaxing social-distancing orders and calls on governors to adjust the process so it best suits their state’s condition.
“Even if you are in phase one, two, three, it’s not, OK, game over it’s going to be a way that we protect ourselves,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert.
Here’s where major US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Friday:
- S&P 500 : 2,874.56, up 2.7%
- Dow Jones industrial average : 24,242.49, up 3% (705 points)
- Nasdaq composite : 8,650.14, up 1.4%
Positive results reported from Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment trial in Chicago also lifted trader sentiment. The biotech’s drug remdesivir showed some signs of fighting the illness’ symptoms, Stat News reported , signaling that an effective compound may arrive sooner than expected.
Gilead shares surged as much as 12% on the news.
The market optimism helped overshadow bleak economic data from China. The country announced on Friday that its economy contracted for the first time in 28 years , shrinking 6.8% in the first quarter as the coronavirus outbreak fueled production halts and tanked consumer demand. China is on pace for its first full-year economic contraction since the 1970s.
Oil tumbled further after an already dismal week. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped as much as 13%, to $17.31 per barrel, as forecasts of historically low demand tanked hopes of a swift recovery.
The market leap followed a choppy Thursday session. Stocks climbed through the day after weekly jobless claims landed below estimates . About 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance in the past four weeks, nearly wiping out all jobs created since the financial crisis.
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