Wall St. gains on Boeing bump, remdesivir hopes

(Reuters) – Wall Street climbed on Monday and the S&P 500 moved closer to clinching its biggest quarterly gain since 1998 as investors clung to hopes of a stimulus-backed economic rebound, while Boeing shares shot higher to help boost the blue-chip Dow.

The planemaker’s (N:BA) shares jumped 10.2% after a 737 MAX took off on Monday from a Seattle-area airport on the first day of certification flight testing with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and company test pilots, a crucial moment in Boeing’s worst-ever crisis.

A spike in virus infections in Southern and Western states last week sent the S&P 500 down nearly 3%, but the threat of a deeper-than-feared recession has led investors to expect more stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve or Congress.

But the sting of rising infections was blunted by the pricing of the antiviral drug remdesivir, which has been shown to alter the course of COVID-19, by Gilead Sciences (O:GILD). The company also agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the United States over the next three months.

“The market is so antsy and edgy about every headline – last week the world was falling apart because of an explosion of cases and then today Gilead is going to charge for a remdesivir treatment so it’s all good,” said Ken Polcari, chief market strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in Jupiter, Florida.

“The Boeing news was good in terms of them starting to fly again so that is a positive for sure for a big industrial name.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 479.07 points, or 1.92%, to 25,494.62, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 35.93 points, or 1.19%, to 3,044.98 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 89.44 points, or 0.92%, to 9,846.66.

Each of the 11 major S&P sectors was in positive territory, with industrial (SPLRCI) and material

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