Stocks soar to record highs as coronavirus vaccine hopes build

Asia-Pacific stocks gain after FDA OK'd use of blood plasma to treat COVID-19

Dow opens within 5% of record high and Nasdaq, S&P 500 carve out intraday peaks on coronavirus treatment candidates

The S&P 500 was up 28.20 points, or 0.83 percent, to 3,425.36.

The blue-chip Dow, while leading Monday's gains, remains almost 5% off its all time high, and down just over 1% year-to-date.

The Dow closed 190.60 points higher on Friday and a seemingly unstoppable rally in tech shares pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite above their previous records. "(Higher) volume is accompanying this expanding breadth, and those are all bullish things".

Over the weekend, the Food and Drug Administration authorized use of convalescent plasma, the antibody-rich blood component taken from recovered COVID-19 patients, for the treatment of serious coronavirus cases.

The World Health Organization, however, was cautious about endorsing the treatment, citing "low quality" evidence that it works.

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U.S. Treasurys were little change with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.64%.

The Trump administration is also considering fast-tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K. for use in the United States ahead of the nation's upcoming presidential election, according to a Financial Times report.

President Trump secured sufficient votes to lead his party for four more years, kicking off the final sprint to November 3 Election Day.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans remained at loggerheads over funding levels and unemployment benefits.

Ahead of its 4-to-1 share split on Friday, Apple Inc provided the biggest boost the major indexes, its stock price crossing over $500 days after becoming the first public US company to top $2 trillion in market value.

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Currently, the companies' drivers don't enjoy the same level of job security or benefits as full employees. That ruling forced the companies to treat their drivers as employees starting Thursday after midnight.


Brent crude futures rose $0.52, to $44.87 a barrel. The stock was last up 1.7%.

The Dow, however, is still about 5% below its February peak. With Wall Street in the green, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were on track to finish at all-time highs.

At 6:16 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 241 points or 0.87%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 25 points or 0.74% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 99 points or 0.86%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.64-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. Market participants will pay close attention to US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks on monetary policy at this week's Kansas City Fed Jackson Hole symposium, which is being held this year in a virtual format.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.94 billion shares, compared with the 9.53 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

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Zoe Kravitz will appear as Catwoman, while Andy Serkis will play Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth. Lastly, there's a tag to a new Twitter account called @redakted.


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