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US stocks rally amid COVID-19 treatment hopes; Apple to cross $500 per share

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq scaled new heights on Monday, boosted by technology mega-caps and U.S. approval for the emergency use of blood plasma in treating COVID-19 patients

twitter-logoReuters | September 12, 2020 | Updated 07:34 IST
US stocks rally amid COVID-19 treatment hopes; Apple to cross $500 per share
Apple Inc gained 2.7% to cross $500 per share for the first time

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq scaled new heights on Monday, boosted by technology mega-caps and U.S. approval for the emergency use of blood plasma in treating COVID-19 patients.

The moves come ahead of the Republican National Convention, where President Donald Trump will be nominated to lead his party for four more years, kicking off the final sprint to Nov. 3 Election Day.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to use antibody-rich plasma from recovered patients was hailed by Trump and came a day after he accused it of impeding the rollout of treatments for political reasons.

The World Health Organization, however, was cautious about endorsing the treatment, citing "low quality" evidence that it works.

Several companies involved in plasma-derived pharmaceuticals saw their stocks jump in morning trading. Kamada climbed 19.2%, and ADMA Biologics rallied 24.2%.

Rising hope for a COVID vaccine and treatment also helped shares of industries that have been badly beaten down by what's become the new normal of pandemic life. Airlines climbed, for example, amid the possibility that people may feel safe enough to travel again in the future. Delta Air Lines rose 3.2%, and American Airlines Group added 3.3%.

Apple Inc gained 2.7% to cross $500 per share for the first time, providing the biggest boost to the three main stock indexes.

Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Google-parent Alphabet Inc that along with Apple represent nearly a quarter of the S&P 500's market capitalization, climbed between 0.9% and 3.5%.

Consumer discretionary, technology and communication services led gains among the major S&P sectors.

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