Dow Celebrates Best Week Since August

Stocks rose on Friday to end their best week in months as President Donald Trump signaled support for a bigger coronavirus aid package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off its highs of earlier in the day, but registered a gain of 161.39 points to finish off the week at 28,586.90.

The S&P 500 added 30.31 points to 3,477.18.

The NASDAQ advanced 158.96 points, or 1.4%, to 11,579.94.

Microsoft jumped 2.5%, and Salesforce climbed 2.2%, to lead the Dow higher. Consumer discretionary and tech were the best-performing S&P 500 sectors, advancing more than 1% each.

For the week, the Dow jumped 3.3% and posted its biggest one-week gain since August. The S&P 500 gained 3.8%, and NASDAQ was up 4.6%, for the week. Both benchmarks had their best weekly performance since early July.

Some sources reported the administration has raised its offer for a new aid package to $1.8 trillion from $1.6 trillion. However, Trump later told radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh that he "would like to see a bigger stimulus package frankly than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering."

To be sure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it is "unlikely" that a new aid package would be passed in the three weeks prior to the Nov. 3 election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday she would not back aid to U.S. airlines without a broader stimulus package, something Trump hinted earlier in the week he’d support. Meanwhile, Trump told Fox Business on Thursday morning that the administration and Democrats were "starting to have some very productive talks."

Investors also digested news on the coronavirus treatment front. GenMark Diagnostics said after the close Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration gave the company emergency clearance to run a test that screens for the flu, coronavirus and other viruses.

Plus, shares of Gilead rose 1.7% after a study showed its anti-viral treatment remdesivir showed that the drug cut recovery time by five days compared to patients who received a placebo. The drug also reduced fatality in patients needing low flow oxygen.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury fell slightly, raising yields to 0.78% from Thursday’s 0.77%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down 64 cents at $40.55 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices spiked $39.00 to $1,934.10 U.S. an ounce.