U.S. stocks ended higher Friday, with support attributed in part to optimism over a coronavirus treatment as investors attempt to gauge the threat to the economic outlook from a rise in COVID-19 cases.
How did benchmarks perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 369.21 points, or 1.4%, to close at 26,075.30. The S&P 500
added 32.99 points, or 1.1%, to close at 3,185.04. The Nasdaq Composite
closed at 10,617.44, up 69.69 points, or 0.7%, its 27th record of 2020.
On Thursday, the Dow fell 361.19 points, or 1.4%, to end at 25,706.09; the S&P 500 index lost 17.89 points, or 0.6%, to end at 3,152.05; and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 55.25 points, or 0.5%, at 10,547.75, marking its third record in a row and its 27th of 2020.
For the week, the Dow finished 1% higher, the S&P 500 booked a gain of 1.8%, and the Nasdaq advanced 4%.
What drove the market?
Stocks shook off premarket weakness after Gilead GILD said a new analysis of previously disclosed clinical trial data found its experimental therapy remdesivir can reduce the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients. The drugmaker’s shares were up 2.2%.
The U.S. saw a record number of new infections of COVID-19, rising by more than 63,000 to mark another single-day record, as hospitals in Texas, California and other states also saw rising hospitalizations from the illness, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“It remains to be seen if July 4 mingling will have an impact on disease statistics and ultimately deaths, but the post-Memorial Day surge is not encouraging,” said Ben Kirby, portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management, in a note.
Total U.S. cases of coronavirus climbed to more than 3.1 million and the death toll topped 133,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The illness also is seeing a resurgence in other parts of the world. Specifically, Australia, India, and South Korea are seeing increased social-distancing measures or new lockdown measures.
Meanwhile, in China, a streak of gains in stock prices for the week, that had been sparked by bullish comments from a state-run paper, cooled to close out a rally in the region, as government officials issued warnings of overexuberance in state-owned media.
Separately, China said that it would impose reciprocal sanctions against U.S. officials after the U.S. imposed sanctions on individuals and institutions for human rights abuses of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority living in China’s Xinjiang province.
In economic data, the wholesale cost of U.S. goods and services fell by 0.2% in June, reflecting depressed demand in retail and other major parts of the economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Looking forward, investors are bracing for corporate earnings reports, which will kick off in earnest next week, with the banking sector slated to deliver quarterly results that are likely to be disappointing.
Which stocks were in focus?
Clothing retailer Express Inc.’s shares rose 2% Friday, after the company
said same-store sales and traffic are improving as most of its stores have reopened after being closed for the coronavirus pandemic
Shares of Carnival Corp.
rose 10.8%, after the cruise operator provided a business update, reiterating that it continues to see demand from new bookings next year.
Tech heavyweights continued to dominate. Amazon.com Inc.
notched its 10th-straight weekly gain, up nearly 11%, while Netflix Inc.
soared 8% on the day and saw its best week since January 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
shares rocketed 10.8%, closing at a record of about $1,545 as investors looked forward to earnings results later in the month.
How did other assets do?
The 10-year Treasury yield traded near 0.64%, rising around 4 basis points after earlier dipping to around its lowest level since April. Bond yields falls as prices rise.
August futures for U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude
closed higher, thanks in part to optimism about a virus treatment. Futures for gold
closed lower, but still notched a weekly gain.
The dollar weakened marginally against its major rivals, trading down 0.1% based on the ICE U.S. Dollar Index.
In global equities, the STOXX Europe 600 index
finished 0.9% higher, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100
rose 0.8%. China’s CSI 300 benchmark
fell 1.8%, but remains up 16% year-to-date. The Japanese Nikkei
shed around 1.1%.
William Watts and Sunny Oh contributed to this report.