Getty Images / Mario Tama
- All three US equity indexes surged on Friday as the White House’s plan for an economic reopening lifted investor sentiments.
- Positive results reported from Gilead‘s coronavirus treatment trials offered new optimism around an effective drug arriving sooner than expected.
- The market is on pace to close with 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, putting the market on pace for its second consecutive week of gains, even as the coronavirus pandemic spurs recession fears.
All three major indexes jumped as investors cheered the White House’s plan for an economic reopening. The Trump administration announced Thursday night its guidelines for bringing the national economy back online after weeks of business closures and work-from-home activity.
The plan focuses on a three-step process for relaxing quarantine 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 shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday:
- S&P 500: 2,853.06, up 1.9%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 24,045.95, up 2.2% (508 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 8,636.44, up 1.2%
Positive result reported from Gilead‘s coronavirus treatment trials in Chicago also lifted trader sentiments. The biotech’s remdesivir drug showed some signs of fighting the virus’s symptoms, according to a report from STAT News, signaling the wait for an effective compound may arrive sooner than expected.
Gilead shares surged as much as 17% on the news.
The market optimism helped overshadow bleak economic data from China. The country announced Friday its economy contracted for the first time in 28 years, shrinking 6.8% in the first quarter as the coronavirus 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 for historically low demand tanked chances of a swift recovery.
The market leap follows 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 job created since the financial crisis.
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