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U.S. stock futures surged on Thursday night after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug was showing effectiveness in treating the coronavirus. The move pointed to a jump for the stock market on Friday.
Gilead shares jumped by 14% in after-hours trading after STAT news reported that a Chicago hospital treating coronavirus patients with Remdesivir in a trial were recovering rapidly from severe symptoms. The publication cited a video it obtained where the trial results were discussed.
“This is obviously good news. Of course, we’ve heard a few other pieces of good news like this recently and they didn’t pan-out as well as people had hoped,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, in an email. “The big question is whether it’s going to be enough to help the economy ‘re-open’ more quickly than people are thinking right now.”
“To me, the critical issue is employment,” Maley added. “If the economy can bounce back quickly enough to take the unemployment rate back into the low-single digits quickly, that’s going to be very bullish.”
Other studies have shown Remdesivir to be an effective treatment against the coronavirus. However, they have been smaller in scale.
“An effective treatment is a huge deal and would create a path to open the economy and resume normal ‘social activities’ way sooner than a vaccine,” said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. “A treatment is safer and more scalable because it is only given to people who need to be treated.”
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