Wall Street gains hope for Boeing and coronavirus drugs

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(Reuters) – US stocks rose on Friday and also posted gains for the week, spurred on by soaring Boeing stocks, President Donald Trump’s plan to reopen the coronavirus-battered economy and hope for a potential drug by Gilead to treat COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in the financial district of Lower Manhattan during the coronavirus disease epidemic (COVID-19) in New York, New York, United States, April 13 2020. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

The Nasdaq added 6.1% for the week and posted its largest percentage increase in two weeks since 2001.

Boeing (TO PROHIBIT), stocks climbed nearly 15% on plans to restart commercial aircraft production in Washington State after operations were halted last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) jumped almost 10% following a report that patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had responded positively to his experimental drug remdesivir. The report cited partial data from a University of Chicago hospital, a 152 locations participating in the trial.

In the absence of currently approved treatments or vaccines for the coronavirus, the news has helped raise global equity markets. But Gilead said all of the trial data needed to be analyzed, and he expected to release the results of a study testing the drug in severe COVID-19 patients in late April.

“If you can finally get a powerful treatment instead of a vaccine in the next two months, it would be good for cyclical stocks, all of which is economically sensitive,” said RJ Grant, business manager at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods At New York. “If we can somehow bring something back to normal so that the economy can start functioning, the banks will collapse,” he added.

The S&P 500 is up almost 30% from its March low following a series of global stimulus measures and hopes that the spread of the virus would peak in the United States.

However, the S&P remains at around 15% of its all-time high, and strategists have warned of a deep economic recession due to the shutdown and layoffs.

Some US states are expected to start announcing schedules to lift restrictions. On Thursday, Trump released guidelines for a three-step state process to lift restrictions on work and social life to curb the pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 704.81 points, or 2.99%, to 24,242.49, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 75.01 points, or 2.68%, to 2,874.56 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 117.78 points, or 1.38%, to 8650.14.

For the week, the Dow Jones added 2.2% and the S&P 500 rose 3%.

The reopening directives “give hope and optimism to people, the market and the whole economy.” It’s a start, “said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.

Bradshaw, who owns Boeing shares, also said the news from the planner was positive. “I certainly haven’t given up on that,” he said.

Bank stocks have recovered after four consecutive days of losses from lenders who declared billions of dollars in reserves to cover possible defaults. The S&P 500 .SPSY financial index finished up 5.6%, while the S&P .SPNY energy index jumped 10.4%.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) fell 1.4% as Goldman Sachs degraded inventory due to a 36% drop in iPhone shipments in the company’s third fiscal quarter due to coronavirus bottlenecks.

US trading volume was 12.75 billion shares, up from an average of 13.75 billion for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

Growing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 5.18 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 3.88: 1 favored the advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 10 new highs over 52 weeks and no new lows; Nasdaq Composite recorded 31 new highs and 13 new lows.

Caroline Valetkevitch’s report; Additional reports by Sinead Carew, Medha Singh and Akanksha Rana; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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