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Futures jump late following data on potential virus treatment, Trump guidelines

Stock MarketsApr 16, 2020 09:30PM ET
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© Reuters. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in the financial district of lower Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By Caroline Valetkevitch and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures jumped in late trading on Thursday after a report of promising early data related to a potential COVID-19 treatment from Gilead Sciences and as guidelines for re-opening the U.S. economy came from the White House.

S&P 500 e-minis were last up 3.2% while the SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (P:SPY) surged 3%.

Early data from two mid-stage clinical trials testing Gilead Science Inc's (O:GILD) antiviral medicine, remdesivir, in severe COVID-19 patients showed rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, according to a report from Stat, a science journalism Web site. Its shares were up about 14% after the bell.

"The Gilead news is important because it would diminish some of the downside risk of infection," said Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago. "Having this Gilead treatment could perhaps address the downside of getting the virus, make it less severe."

Also boosting sentiment after hours was President Donald Trump's guidelines that revealed a three-phase plan that could allow some states to begin as early as this month lifting limits meant to contain the disease's spread.

"We're looking for more definition on reopening the economy sooner rather than later, more rather than less," said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.

"I think people sense the economy is restarting, and some voices that have been urging greater caution are going to get overruled."

Earlier, the shutdown in New York was extended until May 15, even as coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths fell to their lowest in more than a week, adding to evidence the hardest-hit state was controlling the virus' spread.

Stocks ended the regular session higher as Amazon.com Inc (O:AMZN) and Netflix Inc (O:NFLX) surged to record highs, with sweeping stay-at-home orders driving demand for online streaming services and home delivery of goods.

But trading was choppy during the day as investors worried about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on first-quarter earnings. First-quarter earnings kicked off this week, with U.S. banks preparing for a wave of future loan defaults following a halt in business activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 33.33 points, or 0.14%, to 23,537.68, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 16.19 points, or 0.58%, to 2,799.55 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 139.19 points, or 1.66%, to 8,532.36.

Analysts estimate earnings for S&P 500 companies slumped 12.8% in the quarter, which would be the biggest year-over-year quarterly decline since the financial crisis.

Data showed jobless claims fell slightly to 5.2 million last week from an upwardly revised 6.62 million the previous week. But the total figure for the past month still topped a stunning 20 million.

Economists polled by Reuters had estimated 5.1 million jobless claims for the week ended April 11.

Morgan Stanley (N:MS) wrapped up earnings for the big U.S. lenders, reporting a plunge in quarterly profit as its advisory and wealth management businesses took a hit from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Its shares ended down slightly.

Shares of Boeing Co (N:BA) fell 8%, limiting gains in the Dow, as its European rival Airbus (PA:AIR) said it was examining requests to defer deliveries after a collapse in travel demand.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.62 billion shares, compared to the 13.94 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.59-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.23-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 44 new highs and 62 new lows.

Futures jump late following data on potential virus treatment, Trump guidelines
 

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Comments (12)
Randall Paul
Randall Paul Apr 17, 2020 1:02AM ET
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I think it is wonderful but the drug if it works great but how is it going to stop the virus from spreading. it will releive symptoms ok. I think this reopening plan is a good start but the complexities will be immense. who gets to go back to work. who are you going to make angry by selecting some and preventing others. Are we risking putting further people in harms way socially and compromising health? We shall see. I think the President has a difficult job to do but he is between a rock and a hard place.
Alejandro Pieroni
Alejandro Pieroni Apr 17, 2020 1:02AM ET
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The drug news is biased, Trial not complete and data not peer reviewed, it means fake news
Randall Wagner
Randall Wagner Apr 16, 2020 11:32PM ET
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Adamo. All I see is a sea of green. and we haven't even been working...just wait till we do.
Dennis Cromwell
Dennis Cromwell Apr 16, 2020 10:47PM ET
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This is two day old news.  Somebody playing computer games with the futures markets.  The world has gone bonkers...
Pro trader A
Pro trader A Apr 16, 2020 10:43PM ET
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there is no vaccine yet. lie after lie
Adamo Nals
Adamo Nals Apr 16, 2020 10:27PM ET
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This market will get a final gas but it’s bear market rally and then reality sets in. Months and months of unfortunate economic destruction. Until there’s a vaccine you really don’t have much of an economy. The numbers are still so high in cases and deaths and go up from day to day. You should be buying as many puts as you can tomorrow. I wouldn’t be surprised if it fades into the close
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Apr 16, 2020 9:53PM ET
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vaccine game starts
May Mắn Vòng Quay
May Mắn Vòng Quay Apr 16, 2020 9:52PM ET
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Many blinded investers?
riyaz shah
riyaz shah Apr 16, 2020 9:46PM ET
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I don't know why are World Markets are moving.
Don Getty
Don Getty Apr 16, 2020 9:45PM ET
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The Gilead, drug test cites 112 severe case patients - only two died - no age statisics to determine if these were low risk or high risk - 2 dead in a hundred is about the global average - so if you read between the lines it didn't really change the fatality level - sounds like a lot of hype with little real substance!
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 16, 2020 9:45PM ET
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Don, learn to read. Sorry you're not in.
Alejandro Pieroni
Alejandro Pieroni Apr 16, 2020 9:45PM ET
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Chris Martin , he is right, China tried this drug with no results as well as Europe so you learn to read please
Anthony Crowley
Anthony Crowley Apr 16, 2020 2:24PM ET
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Share buy backs were the driving force of the previous run up. I doubt the buy backs will be as aggressive as they were in the recent past. This is going to be a long haul trough to peak - and I'm not certain we've seen the bottom of the trough yet.
Bret Lafrance
Bret Lafrance Apr 16, 2020 8:39AM ET
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I love these “Written by Reuters” articles. “Investers spirits lifted by prospect of general population being released from srlf confinement” Riiiggghhhttt!
Qasim Jamal Basra
Qasim Jamal Basra Apr 16, 2020 8:36AM ET
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crude oil very highly jump today America stock
 
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