Microsoft Stock Rises, Lilly Drug in Phase 3

In 2020, good news is tough to come by. So even news of the “not-so-bad” variety is welcome, and the fact that the U.S. reported the smallest daily increase in virus cases in nearly four weeks was enough to cheer on Monday. Fewer than 48,000 new cases were reported for Sunday.

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Momentum from a far better than expected earnings season continued on Monday, as all three major U.S. stock market indices finished meaningfully higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 236 points, or 0.9%, to finish at 26,664.

Nasdaq all-time high. While a single-day gain of 0.9% is nothing to scoff at in any investment, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped nearly 1.5% on the day to continue a remarkable streak of outperformance in 2020.

Two of its largest components, Microsoft (ticker: MSFT) and Apple ( AAPL), had big days, rising 5.6% and 2.5%, respectively. Both companies are worth more than $1 trillion, making their fluctuations extremely important to the market-cap-weighted index.

Microsoft confirmed a rumor that it was pursuing an acquisition of the U.S. operations of Chinese video-sharing app TikTok — a wildly popular app worth tens of billions of dollars.

Eli Lilly drug entering phase 3. An experimental treatment from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company ( LLY) is entering phase 3 trials, the company said Monday. While the global race for a vaccine has gotten more ink, Lilly has been testing this particular drug, LY-CoV555, on hospitalized patients to see if it can help them recover.

The phase 3 trial is expected to enroll about 2,400 people either working or living in nursing homes where the virus has appeared and aims to be used as a prophylactic to slow the spread of the virus in some of society’s most vulnerable communities.

LLY shares rose 1.7% on Monday.

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