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Stock market news live updates: Gilead treatment feeds broad rally, tech stocks power Nasdaq to 4th record close this week

Emily McCormick
·Reporter
·8-min read

Stocks staged a broad rally Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite setting yet another record high, after Gilead Sciences announced that its remdesivir treatment reduced the risk of death for Covid-19 patients, based on new data from the company.

The more upbeat news on the virus treatment front led “recovery” stocks higher, with financials and energy sectors that had lagged over the past few weeks leading the S&P 500’s more than 1% advance. The S&P 500 financials sector (XLF) rose by the most in five weeks, and cruise line and airline stocks also advanced strongly.

Still, virus fears lingered, as the global economy struggles to contain surging coronavirus cases — which have set single-day records in the United States, led by spikes in the Sun Belt region. Abroad, Hong Kong said it was set to close schools again starting on Monday, following a new batch of infections in the region. And Mexico saw a record number of new cases to overtake Spain – once a global epicenter of the virus – in the number of overall cases. Major equity indices in Asia closed out Friday’s session lower.

Signs that the outbreak was worsening stoked a further risk-off mood in markets. California, Florida and Texas each posted record one-day coronavirus deaths as of Thursday. Crude oil prices (CL=F) steadied on Friday after posting their biggest drop in two weeks amid fears about falling demand. Investors piled into the relative safety of the bond market, and the benchmark 10-year yield fell to the lowest level since mid-April Friday morning.

However, technology has become a new safe haven, with Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Tesla and Microsoft all soaring to fresh records this week. Investors have plowed cash into names viewed as most likely to recover strongly in the wake of the pandemic.

The recent surge in tech shares widened the yawning gap in performance between sectors weighed heavily in tech stocks, and those without. The S&P 500’s information technology and consumer discretionary sectors – the latter of which includes Amazon – have each rallied well over 10% since June 1, versus a roughly 3% gain in the broader market. The energy sector has fallen 11.7% since June 1, and the utilities and financials sectors have dropped 5.6% and 3.9%, respectively.

“FAANG stocks went through a stress test that is greater than anything we will see in five lifetimes,” Tom Lee, Fundstrat global advisors managing partner and head of research, told Yahoo Finance on Thursday. FAANG names include Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet.

“They survived the Great Depression, and they actually grew their business, their revenues,” he added, referring to the period marking the economic nadir spurred by the pandemic.

4:01 p.m. ET: Stocks post weekly advances as Covid-19 treatment fuels risk rally

Here’s where markets settled at the end of the regular session Friday:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +32.96 points (+1.05%) to 3,185.01

  • Dow (^DJI): +368.8 points (+1.43%) to 26,074.89

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +69.69 points (+0.66%) to 10,617.44

2:24 p.m. ET: Financials, energy stocks lead S&P 500 higher amid renewed reopening trade

The financials and energy sectors led gains in the S&P 500 on Friday, somewhat reversing the trend from earlier this week when tech stocks led advance. The information tech sector fell about 0.52% on Friday, underperforming against the broader index.

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 2:27 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +19.25 points (+0.61%) to 3,171.3

  • Dow (^DJI): +271.23 points (+1.06%) to 25,977.32

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +10.69 points (+0.1%) to 10,558.85

  • Crude (CL=F): +$1.00 (+2.52%) to $40.62 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$2.40 (-0.13%) to $1,801.40 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2.8 bps to yield 0.633%

12:12 p.m. ET: Trump suggests Phase 2 US-China trade deal unlikely, says China relationship ‘severely damaged’

President Donald Trump said Friday that the relationship between the US and China had been “severely damaged” in the wake of the pandemic, throwing cold water on prospects of more progress on a trade deal with Beijing.

“I don’t think about that now,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One in response to a question about the prospects of a Phase 2 deal, according to a pool report. “The relationship with China has been severely damaged.”

“Honestly, I have many other things in mind,” he added.

11:07 a.m. ET: Fed’s Kaplan says ‘broad mask-wearing’ would help slow spread of virus, boost economy

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said during an interview with Fox Business on Friday that mask-wearing could help spur economic activity by slowing the spread of Covid-19, which has resurged across the Sun Belt in the US in recent weeks.

“While monetary and fiscal policy have a key role to play, the primary economic policy from here is broad mask wearing and good execution of these health-care protocols,” he said in the interview. “If we do that well, we’ll grow faster.”

Kaplan added he expects the US economy will grow in the third and fourth quarters of this year, but that the full-year decline in GDP will likely be between 4.5% to 5%.

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open slightly higher, shaking off overnight losses as virus treatment hope rises

Here were the main moves in markets as of 9:31 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.51 points (+0.02%) to 3,152.56

  • Dow (^DJI): +16.82 points (+0.07%) to 25,722.91

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -1.97 points (-0.01%) to 10,546.54

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.03 (+0.08%) to $39.65 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$10.50 (+0.58%) to $1,814.30 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.5 bps to yield 0.6%

9:01 a.m. ET: Gilead shares rise after company announces remdesivir associated with 62% reduction in mortality rate for Covid-19 patients

Gilead announced Friday morning that new data showed its remdesivir Covid-19 treatment “was associated with an improvement in clinical recovery and a 62 percent reduction in the risk of mortality compared with standard of care – an important finding that requires confirmation in prospective clinical trials.”

Findings from the company’s comparative analysis showed 74.4% of remdesivir-treated patients recovered by Day 14, versus 59% of patients receiving standard of care, Gilead said.

Remdesivir previously received emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration to be used as a treatment for hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19.

8:30 a.m. ET: Core producer prices unexpectedly drop in June

An index tracking changes in producer prices unexpectedly fell in June as downward pressure on prices remained as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on demand.

The headline producer price index (PPI) dropped 0.2% month on month in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. A 0.4% increase in PPI had been expected, to match May’s pace of gains. Over last year, PPI fell 0.8% to match May’s year over year decline.

Excluding more volatile food and energy prices, PPI fell 0.3% on a month over month basis, while a rise of 0.1% had been expected. This core measure of underlying producer price changes had declined 0.1% in May.

7:28 a.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures point to a lower open

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:28 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,133.75, down 7.25 points or 0.23%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 25,496.00, down 75 points, or 0.29%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,718.00, down 9.5 points, or 0.09%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.63 (-1.59%) to $38.99 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$9.80 (+0.54%) to $1,813.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.6 bps to yield 0.589%

6:09 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures rise

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:09 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,145.5, up 4.5 points or 0.14%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 25,611.00, up 40 points, or 0.16%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,734.5, up 7 points, or 0.07%

An official wearing a protective face mask speaks to people waiting in line outside NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Morrisania neighborhood health center, one of New York City's new walk-in COVID-19 testing centers, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
An official wearing a protective face mask speaks to people waiting in line outside NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Morrisania neighborhood health center, one of New York City's new walk-in COVID-19 testing centers, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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