U.S. Stocks Rally on Hopes for Coronavirus Drug: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rallied to a seven-week high on better-than-estimated revenue for Google’s parent company and hopes for a coronavirus treatment. Oil surged.
The S&P 500 Index gained 2.7% in a broad advance, with four stocks up for every one that fell after Gilead Sciences Inc. said its experimental drug helped Covid-19 patients recover faster. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose to within 1% of erasing losses for the year, led by Alphabet Inc. after it reported an ad-sales slowdown that wasn’t as bad as expected.
Oil futures rebounded after plunging 27% in two sessions. The dollar weakened.
Investors shrugged off warnings from the Federal Reserve that the ongoing public health crisis “poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.” Data also showed the biggest contraction since 2008 in the first quarter as the world’s largest economy shrank at a 4.8% annualized pace.
Meantime, investors are weighing plans by countries around the world to restart activity, with hard-hit nations like Spain saying they need at least eight more weeks to fully lift restrictions. Post-market earnings from megacaps like Facebook Inc. will also give more insight into the impact of the outbreak.
“What’s really driving markets at this stage is any positive news of potential treatments and vaccines, because ultimately that is a game changer,” said Seema Shah, a global investment strategist for Principal Global Investors. “That’s what’s going to be pushing markets, plus anything with regards to the lockdown being lifted earlier.”
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted a third straight advance. Asian shares also rose. Japan was shut for a holiday.
Colombia’s peso led a rally in emerging-market currencies, which were headed toward their best gain in 10 months.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index increased 2.7% at the close of trade in New York.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.8%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.1%.
- The MSCI All-Country World Index gained 2.4%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.6%.
- The euro increased 0.5% to $1.0879.
- The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.246.
- The Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% to 106.6 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.61%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to -0.50%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.28%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 25% to $15.38 a barrel.
- Gold rose 0.4% to $1,713.97 an ounce.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.