Wall Street gains as Gilead data offsets virus fears; Dow leads gains

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Friday as a positive update from Gilead Sciences Inc’s (GILD.O) antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 countered nerves over a record rise in coronavirus cases in the United States that threatens to further impact companies.

Gilead’s remdesivir significantly improved clinical recovery and reduced the risk of death in COVID-19 patients, additional data from a late-stage study showed. The drugmaker’s shares rose 2.3% as it said the finding required confirmation in clinical trials.

The United States registered the largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 infections globally for the second day in a row on Thursday, forcing Americans to take new precautions. Several states have already backpedaled on reopening plans.

In a reversal of the recent trend, the Dow and S&P 500 were sharply outperforming the Nasdaq, which on Thursday registered its fifth record closing high in six days.

“We’re seeing I think some rotation from winners into the laggards here today. And we’ve seen that gap widen quite a bit between the leaders and laggards over the last week, so I think it makes sense there’s a little profit-taking in that trade especially heading into earnings season,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) rose ahead of their financial results next week, which would mark the onset of the second-quarter earnings season.

Overall profits for S&P 500 companies are expected to have fallen the most in the second quarter since the financial crisis, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

A slate of economic data, including a record monthly payrolls addition, has pointed to a revival in business activity in June, fueling the U.S. stock market’s stimulus-driven rally.

The S&P 500 has risen more than 40% from its March lows and stands about 8% below its record high hit in February.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 312.93 points, or 1.22%, to 26,019.02, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 24.59 points, or 0.78%, to 3,176.64 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 25.62 points, or 0.24%, to 10,573.37.

Carnival Corp (CCL.N) jumped 10.2% after the cruise line operator said it was planning to resume operations in a phased manner and would operate with a smaller fleet on its return.

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) rose 7.6% after Goldman Sachs hiked its price target on the video streaming service’s shares.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.37-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 80 new highs and 17 new lows.

Source: Read Full Article