US stocks rise again on hopes for Covid-19 therapies

Wall Street stocks rose again early Friday amid optimism about coronavirus therapeutics and as investors monitored stimulus talks in Washington in hopes of a breakthrough.


File photo: AFP

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent at 28,527.85.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 percent to 3,465.51, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.7 percent to 11,505.13.

Markets cheered a write-up in the New England Journal of Medicine that Gilead Sciences' remdesivir drug resulted in "consistent, clinically meaningful improvements" in coronavirus patients, the latest positive indicator about a leading treatment. Gilead rose 1.0 percent.

That news follows announcements by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly earlier in the week on Covid-19 therapies that have boosted confidence in effectiveness of the treatments for the virus.

Analysts also remained hopeful that Washington policymakers finally will reach a deal on stimulus spending following various pivots in recent days between the White House and congressional leaders.

But there are still a number of challenges to a deal, including opposition to a larger stimulus package in the Republican-controlled Senate.