President Donald Trump’s plan to reopen the economy and strong results on a drug to potentially treat COVID-19 are pushing markets sharply upward, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.

The Top Story

Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) shares surged 11.9% in premarket trading following a media report that patients with severe symptoms of the disease had responded positively to its experimental drug, remdesivir.

That pushed broader futures indexes higher with hopes of closing out the week with gains.

The benchmark S&P 500 ended Thursday slightly higher as demand for online streaming services and home delivery of goods during the stay-at-home restrictions powered Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) to record highs.

The index has now rallied about 28% from a March trough following a raft of global stimulus, and on hopes the shutdown would be eased with signs of a plateauing in new coronavirus cases.

Another factor pushing futures higher is Trump announcing a staggered, three-stage process to re-open the U.S. economy. The plan, however, was more recommendation than order as the decision ultimately resides with state governors.

Analysts and investors remain cautious as economic indicators are showing signs of a recession as global supply chains remain closed and millions are out of work.

U.S. jobless claims have topped 20 million in the past month, while China’s economy contracted for the first time in nearly three decades in the first quarter.

As of 9:20 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were up 2.8%. S&P 500 futures moved 2.5% higher, and Nasdaq Composite futures jumped 1.5%.

Stocks to Watch Today

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) — The American aircraft producer said it plans to reopen its Puget Sound facilities as early as next week (See more below). The 27,000 employees would return to work on various production lines. Shares of Boeing jumped 9% in premarket trading.

Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) — Shares of the consumer goods corporation were up 1.6% after the giant reported a strong third quarter. It also boosted its quarterly dividend by 6% to $0.79 per share earlier this week.

Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) — The Massachusetts-based biotechnology company received a grant of up to $483 million from the U.S. government to develop its mRNA vaccine to treat against COVID-19. Shares of Moderna were up 18.2%.

Boeing Plans Production Restart Next Week

Nearly 27,000 Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) workers could be headed back to work as early as next week in Washington state.

The company said it plans to bring workers back in a phased-in process, with some starting as early as Monday. Boeing said most of its workers should be back to work by next Friday.

Employees will return to production of the 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs in facilities around Puget Sound

China Records First Contraction in Quarterly GDP

The Chinese economy contracted 6.8% in the first three months of 2020 compared with a year earlier. It’s the first quarterly contraction of China’s gross domestic product since reporting started in 1992.

Retail sales were down 16% from a year earlier and China’s urban jobless rate jumped to 5.9% in March after a record 6.2% in February, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook Cancels Big Events Through June 2021

If you were planning on attending an event hosted by Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) anytime soon, think again.

The company announced it is halting all physical events with 50 or more people through June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said the “vast majority” of Facebook employees will be working from home through at least the end of May.

What We’re Reading

3 Stocks to Buy When the Market Rebounds (Money & Markets)

Stimulus to Add Nearly $1.8 Trillion to U.S. Budget Deficit Over Decade (The Wall Street Journal)

While Most Get $1,200 Stimulus, Loophole Pays Some Wealthy Americans $1.7M (Money & Markets)

Earnings Report

Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:

Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG)

Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU)

Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG)

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF)

State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT)

Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.