Benchmarks ended higher on Friday as investors cheered positive results from Gilead’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, remdesivir’s clinical trial data, overlooking spike in new cases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 369.21 points, or 1.4%, to close at 26,075.30and the S&P 500 gained 32.99 points, or 1.1% to close at of 3,185.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 10,617.44, gaining 69.69 points, or 0.7%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased nearly 6.7%, to close at 27.29. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for 2.87-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.62-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored advancers.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
Out of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, only health and technology sectors closed in the negative territory. A 3.5% and 3.3% rally in the financials and energy sectors helped the broader index nudge higher.
The S&P 500 financials index was boosted by significant rise in shares of Bank of America Corporation BAC, Citigroup Inc. C and JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM that closed 5.5%, 6.5% and 5.5%, higher, respectively. The major banks are scheduled to report second-quarter earnings this week. All the three banks carry aZacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The tech-laden Nasdaq hit 27th record high of 2020 on Friday, posting its sixth record close in seven days. Tesla, Inc.’s TSLA emerged as the highest gainer of the index surging 10.8%. Companies benefiting from economic reopening also helped the benchmark soar. Shares of United Airlines Holdings, Inc. UAL and American Airlines Group Inc. AAL closed 8.3% and 6.8% higher, respectively on Jul 10.
Overall, the S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 85 new highs and 17 new lows.
Gilead’s Remdesivir Soothe Investor’s Fear
Last week the United States witnessed a spike in coronavirus cases. In fact, on Jul 10, 71,787 new cases were registered, which is so far the highest single-day rise. Earlier on Thursday, America had registered infections rising above 61,000, second day in a row. This had led Americans to take new precautions and several states have rolled-back reopening plans.
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s GILD remdesivir have provided positive results with an improvement in clinical recovery and a 62% reduction in the risk of mortality compared with standard of care in a trial. The company’s coronavirus candidate reduces the risk of death in COVID-19 patients per the additional data from a late-stage study.
Shares of Gilead Sciences closed 2.2% higher on Friday.
For the week ending Jul 10, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed 1%, 1.8% and 4% higher, respectively. Benchmarks went throw a roller coaster ride throughout the week amid spike in new coronavirus cases. However, the Nasdaq rallied to an all-time high boosted by strong gains in tech stocks benefitting from work-from-home trends. Investors also kept a close watch on coronavirus vaccine progress and positive economic data.
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