Stocks rallied on Friday as investors latched onto strands of hope about progress in the fight against the coronavirus. The Dow rose 704 points to 24,242, the S&P 500 rose 75 points to 2,874, and the Nasdaq rose 117 points to 8,650. The Dow and S&P gains were more than 2%. For the benchmark S&P, it's the first back-to-back weekly gain since the market began to sell off in February. Investors seemed cheered by a promising report about a COVID-19 drug, as well the possibility that some parts of the economy could reopen in the near future, per the AP.
The gains came even as scary data piles up about the economic and human toll of the virus, which has killed more than 149,000 worldwide and forced the formerly high-flying Chinese economy to shrink a crunching 6.8% last quarter. A measure of leading economic indicators in the US plunged last month by the most in its 60-year history, the latest in a string of similarly unprecedented data reports. Fridays have been particularly shaky for the market in recent weeks, as investors look to sell stocks instead of holding them through the weekend when more bad news could pile up. This week was an exception.
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