Stocks rally on hopeful signs … Oil prices down … Drug debate … Rush to join studies
NEW YORK (AP) – Traders on Wall Street appear to be grasping at some early signs of hope in battling the coronavirus outbreak. Stocks jumped at the open, as they have around the world today. The Dow was up as much as 5% in the first hour of trading, following strong gains in Europe and Asia. The rally comes as the number of people dying appeared to slow over the weekend in Spain, Italy and New York City.
NEW YORK (AP) – Oil prices are down after a meeting between Russia and OPEC aimed at defusing a price war was pushed back a few days. Analysts are expecting Saudi Arabia and Russia might tone down their price war at a time when the world is awash in oil as demand collapses.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration’s trade adviser says he had a heated debate with Dr. Anthony Fauci (FOW’-chee) over the use of an anti-malaria drug that has not yet officially been approved for fighting COVID-19. Peter Navarro is emphatically promoting use of the drug even though scientists say more testing is needed before it’s clear it’s safe and effective against the virus. Navarro is on the White House coronavirus task force. He says he argued with Fauci during a weekend meeting in the Situation Room. Fauci says current studies provide only anecdotal findings that the drug works.
UNDATED (AP) – Coronavirus patients around the world are rushing to join studies of an experimental drug that has shown promise against some similar viruses in the past. Interest in the drug remdesivir has been so great that the U.S. National Institutes of Health is boosting the size of its study. Drugmaker Gilead Sciences is quickly enrolling patients in its own studies, too. The drug is designed to interfere with an enzyme that reproduces viral genetic material.
UNDATED (AP) – Central banks and governments continue to buy time, flooding their economies with trillions in aid. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) is preparing to announce a $1 trillion economic package as early as tomorrow, while Germany is trying to ease the flow of financial aid to small and medium-size companies. Germany’s finance minister says companies that were in good health last year can apply for loans totaling as much as three months of revenue.