Markets gain in second day of risk-off mood as more economies ease coronavirus lockdowns

U.S. equities followed European stocks higher, with sentiment buoyed as more economies moved toward easing their coronavirus lockdowns. Oil headed for its longest winning streak in nine months.

The S&P 500 opened in the green as investors digested the latest earnings, including a beat from chemical maker DuPont Inc. Every sector climbed as the Stoxx Europe 600 advanced after slumping a day earlier and missing out on the late rebound for U.S. stocks. Energy shares led the rally amid the recovery in crude, with Total SA among the big winners even after reporting a 35 per cent plunge in first-quarter profit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 209.12 points, or 0.88 per cent, at the open to 23,958.88. The S&P 500 opened higher by 26.14 points, or 0.92 per cent, at 2,868.88. The Nasdaq Composite gained 98.94 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 8,809.66 at the opening bell.

The Toronto

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Live Updates for Wednesday, May 6  By

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Rolling updates on the latest developments and headlines from around the world on the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Gina Lee and Peter Nurse

(10:40 PM ET) The White House mulls disbanding Presidential COVID-19 task force

Vice President Mike Pence said the White House is discussing whether to disband the president’s COVID-19 task force, possibly as soon as May 25.

The move comes as Pence said that the task force accomplished its goal of containing the virus as the outbreak in the U.S. slows and some states reopen after weeks-long lockdowns.

(10:37 PM ET) Gilead to Expand Remdesivir Production

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:) is looking to expand manufacturing of its Covid-19 treatment remdesivir. The drug received FDA emergency use approval earlier in the week.

Gilead said in a blog post that it is talking with “some of the world’s leading chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies”

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Goldman Sachs doubts there will be a Round 3 of PPP loans for small businesses

Barely a month into the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, nearly two rounds of funding have been depleted. But Goldman Sachs economists don’t think there will be a Round 3.

Money for the program has been spoken for at a rapid pace—As of May 1, over half of the $310 billion Round 2 funds were approved ($175 billion), per the SBA, for over 2.2 million applications. Funds from Round 1’s $349 billion pool ran out in just 13 days.

But Goldman Sachs is doubtful another round is in store. Economists wrote in a May 4 report that, while “additional aid for businesses is possible,” they don’t expect additional rounds of funding for the PPP.

The firm estimates that eligible businesses have expenses eligible for loan forgiveness of around $750 billion—And with nearly $700 billion in funding for the first two rounds combined, the firm believes most eligible businesses … Read More