Wall Street stocks gain on Boeing surge, coronavirus drug hopes

April 18, 2020

New York (Apr 18)  U.S. stocks rose on Friday and posted gains for the week, helped by a surge in Boeing shares, President Donald Trump’s plan to reopen the coronavirus-battered economy and hopes of a potential drug by Gilead to treat COVID-19.

The Nasdaq rose 6.1% for the week and registered its biggest two-week percentage gain since 2001.

Boeing (BA.N) shares soared nearly 15% on plans to restart commercial jet production in Washington state after halting operations last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some U.S. states were expected to announce timetables for lifting restrictions, a day after Trump outlined guidelines for a phased reopening of the devastated U.S. 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.

Bradshaw, who owns Boeing shares, said the planemaker’s news helped to lift optimism as well.

Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) surged almost 10% 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.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 704.81 points, or 2.99%, to 24,242.49, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 75.01 points, or 2.68%, to 2,874.56 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 117.78 points, or 1.38%, to 8,650.14.


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