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(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

US stocks open higher after Google results, hopes of potential coronavirus drug

Gilead Sciences gave an encouraging update on a potential Covid-19 treatment, while upbeat earnings reports from Boeing and Google-parent Alphabet added to the sentiment

Wall Street stocks jumped early Wednesday as Boeing and Google parent Alphabet rose after earnings reports, offsetting the hit from a poor US first-quarter economic report.

Stocks were also supported by favorable comments by biotech company Gilead Sciences, which is developing a drug to treat coronavirus.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.7 percent at 24,509.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.9 percent to 2,918.06, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 2.3 percent to 8,802.74.

The US economy shrank by 4.8 percent in the first quarter as the coronavirus hit, the biggest decline in GDP in 12 years, according to data released Wednesday.

But investors cheered results from Alphabet, which surged 8.4 percent as the company's results outshone dim earnings expectations. Overall ad revenues for Google rose 10 percent for the quarter despite the pandemic's worsening in March.

Boeing jumped 4.3 percent despite reporting a $641 million loss as the company announced a plan to cut its workforce by 10 percent and expressed confidence it had sufficient liquidity to weather a deep downturn in its business due to coronavirus shutdowns.

Gilead Sciences advanced 4.3 percent as it said a much-watched National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases study of its Remdesivir treatment for COVID-19 yielded "positive data."

The drug is one of several leading pharmaceutical products being studied in the wake of pandemic.

Wednesday's heavy calendar includes a Federal Reserve policy statement and news conference later in the day

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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