Stocks surged on Friday after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug showed some effectiveness in treating the coronavirus, giving investors some hope there might be a treatment solution that helps the country reopen faster from the widespread shutdowns that have plunged the economy into a recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 704.81 points, or 3%, to 24,242.49. it had been the Dow’s first close above 24,000 since March 10. The S&P 500 closed 2.7% higher, at 2,874.56 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.4% to 8,650.14. (Click here for the newest market news.)

Boeing shares jumped 14.7% after the airplane maker said it might resume production within the Seattle area as early as April 20. the corporate also said Friday it might resume operations within the Philadelphia area.

“It’s far too early to signal the all clear, but what this demonstrates is that coronavirus may be a ill health that needs a health solution,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, about the prospects of a coronavirus treatment. “If we will develop a health solution, i feel a minimum of from a market perspective, things will rebound pretty quickly.”

CH 20200326 Stock market wild swings 10am.png

Friday’s gain led the S&P 500 to its first back-to-back weekly gains since early February and propelled it above its 50-day moving average. The broader market index climbed 3% for the week while the Dow gained 2.2%. The Nasdaq advanced 6.1% week so far . Through Friday’s close, the main averages were all up quite 25% from their late-March lows.

Gilead shares jumped 9.7% after STAT news reported that a Chicago hospital treating coronavirus patients with remdesivir during a trial were recovering rapidly from severe symptoms. The publication cited a video it obtained where the trial results were discussed.

“An effective treatment may be a huge deal and would create a path to open the economy and resume normal ‘social activities’ way before a vaccine,” said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. “A treatment is safer and more scalable because it’s only given to people that got to be treated.”

Other studies have shown remdesivir to be an efficient treatment against the coronavirus. However, they need been smaller in scale. Gilead itself also cautioned that anecdotal reports aren’t enough to work out yet whether the drug are going to be an efficient treatment.

Still, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the drug could give the economy a “fighting chance.”

“Remdesivir seems like something which will get people out of hospitals quickly,” Cramer said during a tweet Thursday. “That allows our economy to possess a fighting chance..I think that remdesivir would cut the morbidity … which might change how quickly we will open… and what we will do.”

Investors trimmed positions in work-from-home plays like Amazon, Netflix and Walmart. Amazon dipped 1.4% while Netflix fell 3.7%. Walmart slid 0.2%. Still, Amazon and Netflix closed up quite 14% for the week while Walmart gained 8.5%.

Market comeback

Stocks tumbled from record highs in February into a market a month later because the spread of the coronavirus roiled market sentiment and therefore the economic outlook. quite 2 million cases are confirmed worldwide, including over 650,000 within the U.S., consistent with Johns Hopkins University. Governments urged people to remain home, effectively shutting down the worldwide economy.

But the stock exchange has rallied since March 23 as new coronavirus cases within the U.S. and globally showed signs of plateauing. President Donald Trump said Thursday that “our experts say the curve has flattened and therefore the peak … is behind us.”

He also issued guidelines to open up parts of the U.S. Thursday night, which identifies the circumstances necessary for areas of the country to permit employees to start out returning to figure . the choice to lift restrictions will ultimately be made by state governors.

The S&P 500 has jumped quite 30% from its March 23 intraday low while the Dow has gained 33.1% therein time.

CH 20200424 SP500 looking for a bottom

To be sure, the outbreak has already dealt a huge blow to the economy. In four weeks, about 22 million Americans have lost their jobs. Retail sales posted last month their biggest fall on record.

Investors have said that news of an efficient treatment or vaccine would be needed for stocks to mount a sustainable comeback.

“If it’s effective keep someone from contracting the virus or, more likely, simply reduces its severity, that might be a game-changer and [would] allow the economy to restart both more quickly and more fully,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, about the Remdesivir trial report.

—CNBC’s Yun Li, Pippa Stevens, and Tom Franck contributed to the present report.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here