U.S. futures gained modestly on Friday, ending a turbulent week of trade. Investors contemplated economic reports, corporate earnings, and developments tied to the spread of coronavirus.
Analysts attributed some positive momentum in equities on Friday to news of the possibility of a Pfizer vaccine by next month. Meanwhile, the new surge of Covid-19 has forced some re-closures in major European metropolises.
On Friday, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared by 0.3% at 28,470. The S&P 500 index also surged forward by 0.3%, reaching 3,485.75. Furthermore, Nasdaq-100 futures jumped by 0.5% at 11,936.
On Thursday, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.46% plummeted down by 0.5%, a drop of 54.86 points to 11,713.8. The Dow DJIA, -0.06% tumbled down by 19.80 points, or 0.1%, to 28,494.2. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.15% also lowered by 5.33 points to end at 3,483.34, a decline of 0.2%.
For this week, the S&P 500 is set to gain 0.2%, while the Dow is on track for a 0.3% weekly loss, and the Nasdaq Composite may post a 1.2% gain, as of Thursday’s close.
What caused these changes in the stock market?
Pfizer Inc.’s PFE, -0.84%, stated that it could have a late-stage experimental Covid-19 vaccine ready for emergency-use authorization by late November. First, it must prove successful in trials, though. Despite some uncertainties, this statement still served to boost the sentiment on the stock markets. During the last weeks, coronavirus cases are rising steadily, and a new wave of the pandemic threatens the global economy.
More than half-a-dozen states, including Michigan and Ohio, reported record numbers of new infection cases on Thursday. According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S.’s single-day total moved above 60,000 for the first time in over two months.
Meanwhile, equity indexes in the United States are attempting to avoid a third plunge as traders contend with rising cases of the virus that has infected almost 40 million people around the world, as well as worries about a lack of additional Covid-19 relief aid to help the economy navigate the crisis.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that she isn’t going to wait until the end of the year to close the deal on fiscal stimulus for out-of-work Americans and troubled businesses. Her declaration may have provided some modest boost for bulls at the end of the session. Furthermore, Democratic negotiators and the White House agreed on Thursday to include a national coronavirus-testing strategy in relief legislation.
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