U.S. Stocks May See Further Upside On Coronavirus Treatment News

Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 poised to reach new record highs. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 273 points.

Early buying interest is likely to be generated in reaction to upbeat news on the coronavirus front, with companies that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, like cruise operators and airlines, seeing notable pre-market strength.

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) may also help 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.

After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks saw further upside over the course of the trading day on Friday. The continued upward move on the day lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to new record closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow advanced 190.60 points or 0.7 percent to 27,930.33, the Nasdaq climbed 46.85 points or 0.4 percent to 11,311.80 and the S&P 500 rose 11.65 points or 0.3 percent to 3,397.16.

For the week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared by 2.7 percent and the S&P 500 advanced by 0.7 percent, while Dow was nearly flat.

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 German DAX Index has spiked by 2.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 2.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.8 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.35 to $42.69 a barrel after falling $0.48 to $42.34 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after inching up $0.50 to $1,947 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are jumping $15.20 to $1,962.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.82 yen versus the 105.80 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1835 compared to last Friday’s $1.1797.

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