Coronavirus Treatment News Contributes To Strength On Wall Street

Australian dollars in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

After moving mostly higher last week, stocks have seen some further upside in morning trading on Monday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs, while the Dow has reached its best intraday level in six months.

Currently, the major averages are all firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 219.95 points or 0.8 percent at 28,150.28, the Nasdaq is up 95.03 points or 0.8 percent at 11,406.84 and the S&P 500 is up 26.65 points or 0.8 percent at 3,423.81.

The continued strength on Wall Street comes following upbeat news on the coronavirus front, with companies that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, like cruise operators and airlines, helping lead the markets higher.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Sunday that it has issued an emergency use authorization for investigational convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

The FDA concluded convalescent plasma may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks.

“I am committed to releasing safe and potentially helpful treatments for COVID-19 as quickly as possible in order to save lives, said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.

He added, “The data from studies conducted this year shows that plasma from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 has the potential to help treat those who are suffering from the effects of getting this terrible virus.”

Adding to the positive sentiment, a report from the Financial Times said the Trump administration is considering fast-tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the U.K. for use in America ahead of the presidential election.

Citing three people briefed on the plan, the FT said one option being explored to speed up the availability of a vaccine would involve the FDA awarding emergency use authorization in October to a vaccine being developed in a partnership between AstraZeneca (AZN) and Oxford University.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) have also helped lead a continued rally by tech stocks, as today marks the record date for the tech giant’s recently announced 4-for-1 stock split.

Airline stocks have moved sharply higher amid optimism about the potential coronavirus treatment and vaccine, resulting in a 3.8 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Substantial strength has also emerged among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 2.7 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Oil stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside, with the NYSE Arca Oil Index surging up by 2.3 percent after ending last Friday’s trading at its lowest closing level in well over a month.

Steel, oil service and chemical stocks are also seeing notable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.7 percent.

The major European markets have also shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 1.8 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly higher over the course of the morning after initially showing a lack of direction. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.7 basis points at 0.623 percent.

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