April 30 (UPI) — U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday amid optimism surrounding a potential coronavirus treatment despite news the domestic economy shrank 5 percent to start the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 532.31 points, or 2.21 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 2.66 percent and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 3.57 percent.
The increase put the S&P up more than 13 percent for the month of April, it’s largest monthly gain since 1974 and the Dow rose 12.4 percent for its largest single-month gain since 1987.
Wednesday’s gains came as a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study said Gilead’s drug remdesivir met its primary endpoint, with director and White House Coronavirus Task Force member Anthony Fauci saying it shows a “clear cut” positive effect treating the virus.
The market was also bolstered by strong performances by tech stocks with Google’s parent company, Alphabet, rising 8.89 percent, while Facebook stock climbed 6.17 percent, Amazon gained 2.53 percent and Apple rose 3.28 percent.
Boeing stock also rose 5.86 percent despite the company announcing it lost $641 billion in the first quarter of 2020 and announcing it will lay off 10 percent of its workforce.
The Commerce Department also reported Wednesday that the U.S. economy shrank by almost 5 percent during the first three months of 2020, largely due to COVID-19.
Wednesday’s gains came after the Dow was mostly flat on Tuesday, closing down 32 points.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday also left its interest rates unchanged in the range of zero to 0.25 percent with the committee saying it would take the necessary measures to support the economy.