US stock indexes rose late Friday to end an eventful week that saw the third quarter end on a bitter note.
Traders began the first session of the month and the fourth quarter happy with the news of a possible treatment for Covid-19, although the drama in Washington over raising the US debt limit was seen as a brake on a certain enthusiasm.
The Dow Jones ended up 1.4% to 34,326. The S&P 500 gained 1.2% to 4,357.
The Nasdaq climbed 0.8% to 14,566.
September is both the last month of the third quarter and a notoriously difficult time for trading, and the combination of inflation and Covid-19 fears as well as the deadlock in Washington have caused the Dow and Nasdaq indexes to have recorded losses for the quarter and the S&P 500 to see only a small gain.
The first October session began with government data showing an increase in inflation in August, but also very welcome news from Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics that a clinical trial of their oral antiviral perspective showed a reduction. of about 50% of the risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19.
“I think it’s something a lot of people and not just investors want, it’s a cure for Covid,” said Kim Forrest at Bokeh Capital Partners.
Congress had approved a measure Thursday evening to prevent a shutdown by the US government, but it has only a few weeks left to agree to raise the country’s debt ceiling or face a default on its debt.
Forrest said the gains for the session would have been higher “if we hadn’t had these negative aspects of what’s going on in Washington.”
Among businesses, General Motors finished up 0.8% despite news of a sharp decline in sales in the United States in the third quarter on Friday, as the global semiconductor crisis wears out auto dealers in a context of continued strong consumer demand. (AFP)