The Dow gained 39.44 points, or 0.17%, to close at 23,515.26. The S&P 500 lost 0.05% to 2,797.80. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.01% to 8,494.75. Wall Street was taken for a ride that highlighted the importance of finding a treatment for the coronavirus.
The Financial Times said — citing documents accidentally published by the World Health Organization — that Gilead Sciences' drug remdesivir did not improve patients' condition or reduce the coronavirus pathogen in their bloodstream. Those findings, according to the report, came from a clinical trial in China. Gilead took exception with the report, saying: "it was underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions." The back-and-forth knocked the major averages from their session highs and briefly pushed the Nasdaq and S&P 500 into negative territory.
Gilead shares dropped 4.34% after the FT's report was published. Energy stocks rose broadly following another surge in oil prices. Chevron rose 2.79% while Exxon Mobil advanced 3.13%. The S&P 500 energy sector climbed 3.01%.