By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The Dow notched a weekly gain thanks to a strong finish on Friday, as a record daily surge in cases was cast aside by positive reports about a potential Covid-19 vaccine.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.44%, or 369 points. The S&P 500 rose 1.07%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.66% to a close at a record high.
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) released data on Friday showing its antiviral drug, remdesivir, cut the risk of death for severely sick coronavirus patients by 62% compared with standard care alone, sending its shares 2.2% higher.
Biontech (NASDAQ:BNTX), up 7.2%, also delivered positive news in the race of a vaccine, with CEO Ugur Sahin reportedly claiming the company could have a treatment ready for approval by December, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The promising update on a vaccine helped ease investor jitters over the rapid spread of coronavirus, which infected a record 60,565 people in the U.S. on Thursday.
Energy and financials, both of which had been under pressure this week, jumped more than 2%, pushing the broader market higher.
The rise in financials was underpinned by a swing higher in bank stocks ahead of earnings next week.
Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), all of which are set to report their second-quarter results on Tuesday, were up more than 2%.
Renewed action on the reopening trade - bullish bets on stocks tied to the progress of the economic reopening - also benefited airlines and cruise lines, with the latter benefiting from a surge in cruise operator Carnival (NYSE:CUK).
Carnival (NYSE:CCL) jumped 10.8% on Friday after the cruise operator said it was cutting capacity and indicated that demand for 2021 is growing.
Tech joined the rally late-on after cutting gains.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), the so-called Fab 5, making up about 40% of the Nasdaq Index, ended higher.
Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) ended the day up 10.8% to end above $1,500 for the first time ever.