July 10, 2020 / 7:07 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall St gains as Gilead data offsets virus fears; Dow leads gains

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* Carnival rises on plan to resume trips in phases

* Netflix rises after Goldman Sachs PT raise

* Dow rises 1.2%, S&P 500 up 0.8%, Nasdaq up 0.2% (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday as a positive update from Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 countered nerves over a record rise in coronavirus cases in the United States that threatens to further impact companies.

Gilead’s remdesivir significantly improved clinical recovery and reduced the risk of death in COVID-19 patients, additional data from a late-stage study showed. The drugmaker’s shares rose 2.3% as it said the finding required confirmation in clinical trials.

The United States registered the largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 infections globally for the second day in a row on Thursday, forcing Americans to take new precautions. Several states have already backpedaled on reopening plans.

In a reversal of the recent trend, the Dow and S&P 500 were sharply outperforming the Nasdaq, which on Thursday registered its fifth record closing high in six days.

“We’re seeing I think some rotation from winners into the laggards here today. And we’ve seen that gap widen quite a bit between the leaders and laggards over the last week, so I think it makes sense there’s a little profit-taking in that trade especially heading into earnings season,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs rose ahead of their financial results next week, which would mark the onset of the second-quarter earnings season.

Overall profits for S&P 500 companies are expected to have fallen the most in the second quarter since the financial crisis, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

A slate of economic data, including a record monthly payrolls addition, has pointed to a revival in business activity in June, fueling the U.S. stock market’s stimulus-driven rally.

The S&P 500 has risen more than 40% from its March lows and stands about 8% below its record high hit in February.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 312.93 points, or 1.22%, to 26,019.02, the S&P 500 gained 24.59 points, or 0.78%, to 3,176.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.62 points, or 0.24%, to 10,573.37.

Carnival Corp jumped 10.2% after the cruise line operator said it was planning to resume operations in a phased manner and would operate with a smaller fleet on its return.

Netflix Inc rose 7.6% after Goldman Sachs hiked its price target on the video streaming service’s shares.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.37-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 80 new highs and 17 new lows. (Additional reporting by Medha Singh and C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Maju Samuel)

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