US stock index futures jumped on Friday as President Donald Trump laid out plans to re-open the economy from coronavirus-induced lockdowns and on reports of encouraging data on a drug to potentially treat COVID-19.
Gilead Sciences Inc’s 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.
Boeing Co soared 9% on plans to resume commercial airplane production next week in Washington state after suspending operations last month due to the pandemic.
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 Amazon.com Inc and Netflix Inc 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.
Late on Thursday, Trump announced new guidelines to re-open the economy in a staggered, three-stage process, but the plan was a set of recommendations rather than orders and left the decision largely up to state governors.
Still, analysts said investor sentiment remained cautious with readings of economic indicators getting worse as global supply chains remain shut and large-scale production halts put millions out of work.
US jobless claims have now topped 20 million in the past month, while China’s economy contracted for the first time in nearly three decades in the first quarter.
After US banks kicked off the quarterly earnings season with painful forecasts for 2020, investors will look to reports from consumer products maker Procter & Gamble and world’s top oilfield services provider Schlumberger on Friday.
At 6:04 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 684 points, or 2.92%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 76 points, or 2.73% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 179.75 points, or 2.06%.
SPDR S&P 500 ETFs rose 2.75%.