Stocks rally amid optimism over COVID-19 treatments

Stocks rally amid optimism over COVID-19 treatments
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Stocks rallied on Friday as good news emerged from drug companies on potential COVID-19 treatments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 396 points, or 1.4 percent, and the S&P 500 increased 33 points, or 1.1 percent. 

The NASDAQ composite beat its record set a day earlier, closing at 10,617, a 70-point, or 0.7 percent, increase.

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The increases follow two pieces of good coronavirus-related news on the medical front.

The German company BioNTech told The Wall Street Journal that it expects the coronavirus vaccine it is developing in partnership with Pfizer to be ready for approval by December, by which point it will have 100 million doses available. The number would rise to 1.2 billion by the end of 2021.

Gilead Sciences also announced test results on remdesivir, the only approved treatment for COVID-19, showing that it helps reduce mortality in 62 percent of extremely sick patients.

The news comes as the United States deals with record levels of new COVID-19 cases, led by states such as Texas and Florida that moved to quickly reopen from lockdowns.

Cases are on the rise in more than half of all states, and many have implemented or reimposed restrictive measures on businesses to keep people from spreading the virus.