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Wall Street gains on Boeing news, Trump's reopening plan

  • Caroline Valetkevitch

    Reuters

New York, United States   /   Sat, April 18, 2020   /   10:25 am
Wall Street gains on Boeing news, Trump's reopening plan Play the market: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on Wednesday. Global stocks surged following a dramatic rebound on Wall Street. (Reuters/Jeenah Moon)

US stocks rose on Friday, helped by a surge in Boeing shares, President Donald Trump's plan to reopen the economy and hopes of a potential drug by Gilead to treat COVID-19.

Shares of the US planemaker soared on plans to restart commercial jet production in Washington state after halting operations last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 was up sharply from its March trough and set to gain for the week following a raft of global stimulus and on hopes that statewide lockdowns would be eased as the outbreak showed signs of ebbing.

However, the index remains well off its all-time high and strategists have warned of a deep economic slump as a halt in business activity puts millions of Americans out of work.

Some US states on Friday were expected to announce timetables for lifting restrictions, a day after Trump outlined guidelines for a phased reopening of the devastated US economy.

The plans "provide some hope and optimism for folks and the market and the whole economy. It's a start," said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.

The news on Boeing, which Bradshaw says his firm owns, has helped lift optimism as well.

Gilead Sciences Inc surged 8.1 percent following a report that patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had responded positively to its experimental drug, remdesivir.

With no treatments or vaccines currently approved for the coronavirus, the news lifted global equity markets, but Gilead said the totality of the data from the trial needed to be analyzed and it expected to report results from a study in severe COVID-19 patients at the end of April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 445.98 points, or 1.89 percent, to 23,983.66, the S&P 500 gained 47.29 points, or 1.69 percent, to 2,846.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 40.45 points, or 0.47 percent, to 8,572.81.

Bank stocks recovered after four straight days of losses triggered by lenders reporting several billion dollars in reserves to cover potential loan defaults. Financial stocks were the top boost to the S&P 500.

Apple fell as Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock on expectations of a 36 percent drop in iPhone shipments during the third quarter due to coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.96-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.58-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted eight new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and nine new lows.