All three major U.S. indices rose, with the S&P 500 up as much as 1.8%, better than the morning’s gain of roughly 1.5%. The 10 year treasury yield, after having held steady at 0.64% in the morning, fell to 0.65% by midday, another signal that the market needs interest rates to stay low in order for stocks to keep climbing.
Powering sentiment was a Gilead Sciences announcement that Japanese health authorities approved its remdesivir Coronavirus treatment. The stock rose 1%. It’s up almost 20% year-to-date.
"The Japanese approval of remdesivir is in recognition of the urgent need to treat critically ill patients in Japan. It is a reflection of the exceptional circumstances of this pandemic,” said Merdad Parsey, Gilead’s Chief Medical Officer. “We thank the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for their leadership and collaboration, as we together work to respond to this public health emergency.”
Gains in the market were also powered by signs of improvement in global economic demand. PayPal PYPL pointed to strong consumer spend into the second quarter on its first quarter earnings report. The stock rose more than 12%. China’s exports for April rose 3% year-over-year, although imports did fall.
Oil price gains moderated to 4.75% to $25 a barrel, an important piece to the employment puzzle in the U.S.