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S&P 500 and Nasdaq set new records after Trump pushes plasma treatments

Posted August 24, 2020 8:58 a.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2020 4:09 p.m. EDT

Dow jumps after Trump pushes plasma treatments

— Stocks rallied Monday after the Trump administration approved a potential Covid-19 treatment. Wall Street finished in the green, and both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite finished at all-time highs.

The S&P ended up 1%, finishing above 3,400 points for the first time ever. The Nasdaq closed 0.6% higher. Both indexes surpassed the record levels they reached on Friday.

The Dow closed 1.4%, or 378 points, higher. Even though the index performed the best out of the three major benchmarks, it remains more than 4% below the all-time high it hit in February.

The US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma — blood plasma taken from coronavirus survivors — to treat the virus, saying the "known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product."

Also boosting stocks, the Trump administration is reportedly considering fast-tracking an AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine prior to US election, according to the Financial Times. Although far from a certainty, investors were hopeful that a vaccine could come faster than many had expected. AstraZeneca's stock finished up 1.9%.

After months of investors saying that only a vaccine or an effective treatment solution for the virus would help the economic recovery along, it's not surprising that the news of the plasma treatment is making waves.

Stock milestones notwithstanding, it's a busy week for Wall Street. Investors will be monitoring news from the annual central banker outing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak Thursday morning. Unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus has helped the market wrap up the pandemic bear market in the shortest time span ever, and made investors ever more sensitive to Powell's words.

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