US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow edge higher as Gilead data offsets virus concerns

Reuters

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    * Nasdaq eases from record closing high
    * Carnival rises on plan to resume trips in phases
    * Netflix rises after Goldman Sachs PT raise
    * Dow rises 0.75%, S&P up 0.39%, Nasdaq down 0.03%

 (Updates to early afternoon)
    By Medha Singh and C Nivedita
    July 10 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow advanced on
Friday as a positive update from Gilead's antiviral drug to
treat COVID-19 countered nerves over a record rise in
coronavirus cases in the United States that threatens to damage
Corporate America.
    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
2.1% as it said the finding required confirmation in clinical
trials.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2EH2TR
    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.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2EG13N
    "This market is psychologically focused on coronavirus news,
and it's a battle of positive news stories versus negative news
stories," said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at
Harvest Volatility Management in New York.¿¿¿¿¿¿
    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.
    Technology stocks weakened, dragging the Nasdaq from its
third record closing high this week.
    Bank of America Corp  BAC.N , Citigroup Inc  C.N , JPMorgan
Chase & Co  JPM.N  and Goldman Sachs  GS.N  rose between 3.2%
and 3.8% ahead of their financial results next week, which would
mark the onset of the second-quarter earnings season.
    Overall profits for S&P 500 firms are expected to plunge the
most since the financial crisis, according to IBES data from
Refinitiv.
    "With the earnings expectations so low, investors are of the
mindset that they will more likely be exceeded rather than fall
even further," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at
CFRA Research.
    At 12:48 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
was up 191.83 points, or 0.75%, at 25,897.92, the S&P 500  .SPX 
was up 12.25 points, or 0.39%, at 3,164.30. The Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  was down 2.73 points, or 0.03%, at 10,545.02.
    Carnival Corp  CCL.N  jumped 8.4% 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.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2EH2XM
    Netflix Inc  NFLX.O  rose 6.5% after Goldman Sachs hiked its
price target on the video streaming service's shares.
    Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.17-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and by a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded 15 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 67 new highs and 16 new lows.

 (Reporting by Medha Singh and C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing
by Anil D'Silva and Maju Samuel)
 ((Medha.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1646 223 8780,
outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Twitter: https://twitter.com/medhasinghs))

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