Wall Street advanced to close out the week as investors were greeted with a positive update concerning a coronavirus treatment, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.

The Top Story

Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) issued a report that it’s antiviral drug remdesivir reduced the risk of death for severely sick coronavirus patients (read more about it below).

That put investors in a good mood to close out the week. It helped offset the U.S. reporting its largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 infections Thursday.

A slate of economic data has pointed to a revival in business activity in June, fueling the U.S. stock market’s stimulus-driven rally.

The S&P 500 has risen more than 40% from its March lows and stands about 8% below its record high hit in February.

Technology stocks weakened, but the Nasdaq composite still managed to close at another record high.

Now investors can focus on the start of the quarterly earnings season — which banks kick off next week. Overall profits for S&P 500 firms are expected to plunge the most since the financial crisis, according to Refinitiv.

Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 3,185 (+1.05%)
DOW: 26,075 (+1.44%)
NASDAQ: 10,617 (+0.66%)
RUSSELL 2000: 1,421 (+1.63%)
27.25 (-6.87%)
GOLD: $1,802.20 (-0.09%)
BITCOIN: $9,238.34 (+0.25%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.63% (+0.031)

*- as of 4:10 p.m.

A Big Win

In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to be on the lookout for WD-40 Co. (Nasdaq: WDFC) after the household chemical producer posted a decline in its quarterly sales and earnings per share. Earnings were $1.06 per share, compared to $1.30 in the same quarter a year ago. Shares of WD-40 fell 3.2%.

Despite reporting a $300 million charge due to layoffs and reporting it could furlough nearly half its staff, shares of United Airlines Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: UAL) jumped 8.3%.

Finally, we told you about PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT) after the company reported upbeat earnings, despite a 3.6% decline in sales during the last quarter. The earnings were good enough for investors as shares of PriceSmart rose 4.6%.

Golden Nuggets

Gold prices were set to wrap their fifth straight week of gains on Friday, but the precious metal slipped under $1,800 per ounce late in the day.

More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally It was the largest one-day increase in any country since the pandemic emerged in China last year.

U.S. spot gold prices sank slightly — trading at $1,798.90 per ounce. Gold futures did drop 0.09% to $1,802 per ounce.

Silver futures moved 0.7% higher to trade at $19.09 per ounce while platinum fell 0.3% to trade at $844.70. Palladium was up 1.7% — inching closer to the $2,000 mark — at $1,996.40 per ounce.

Cannabis Corner

Cannabis company Puration Inc. (Over-the-Counter: PURA) confirmed on Friday that there will be a management buyout of a separate public company that will, in turn, purchase Puration’s cannabis cultivation spinoff.

According to a news release, the common stock issued in exchange for the spinoff is intended to be used to Puration shareholders in a dividend distribution.

The new public company will also purchase NCM Biotech, a subsidiary of Kali-Extracts (Over-the-Counter: KALY) and merge it with the PURA spinoff.

Gilead Says COVID-19 Treatment Reduces Risk of Death

A new study released Friday said that Gilead Sciences Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GILD) antiviral drug remdesivir reduced the risk of death for severely sick coronavirus patients.

According to CNBC, the report also found that the drug treatment was associated with “significantly improved clinical recovery.” The company’s findings are being presented at the Virtual COVID-19 Conference.

The data comes from Gilead’s phase three trial of the drug that used 312 patients and compared it with 818 patients in “a real-world retrospective cohort.”

Shares of Gilead Sciences rose 2.2% Friday.

Today’s Big Winners:

S&P 500: Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) +10.8%

Nasdaq: Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) +10.8%

Dow: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) +5.4%

Today’s Big Losers:

S&P 500: Synopsys Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) -3.2%

Nasdaq: Synopsys Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) -3.2%

Dow: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) -0.3%

Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.