US stocks climb as progress on Merck's antiviral pill offsets new inflation data
- US stocks moved higher Friday after Merck announced successful data for its antiviral COVID-19 drug.
- The drug cut hospitalizations and deaths in half for patients who tested positive for COVID.
- The positive news from Merck offset new inflation data and Congress' continued struggle to raise the US debt ceiling.
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US stocks turned positive on Friday after Merck announced successful results for its antiviral drug in the treatment of COVID-19.
Merck ended its phase three trial of molnupiravir early after it said hospitalizations and deaths were cut in half for patients that took the drug after being infected with COVID-19. The pharmaceutical company said it will file for emergency use authorization as soon as possible and plans to have 10 million available doses by the end of the year.
Merck's positive drug data helped offset the biggest jump in inflation in 30 years, with core inflation jumping 3.6% in August, and Congress struggling to raise the US debt ceiling before the US Treasury runs out of money on October 18.
Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:
- S&P 500: 4,312.54, up 0.12%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,026.43, up 0.54% (182.51 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 14,425.99, down 0.16%
Shares of Merck jumped as much as 9% on Friday after it announced positive data for its antiviral COVID-19 treatment.
Bitcoin jumped as much as 9%, helping the popular cryptocurrency reclaim technical resistance levels represented by its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.
Lordstown Motors jumped 8% on Friday after the company said iPhone manufacturer Foxconn would purchase its Ohio plant for $230 million.
Gold fell as much as 0.04%, to $1,756.30 per ounce.
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