Merck Lifts DOW For Good October Start

by Sloan T. Wilson, The Chicago Times

NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes closed higher Friday investors heard about an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck & Co. (MRK) that has shown in trials to help prevent high-risk people from becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.4 percent to 34,326, with Visa (V), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Walt Disney & Co. (DIS), and American Express Co. (AXP) leading the way.

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2 percent to 4,357, with energy stocks soaring 3.3 percent to lead the S&P 500’s 11 sectors into the month where they ended September at the top of the pile.

The Nasdaq finished the day 0.8 percent higher at 14,566.