Stocks rise worldwide, lifted by hopes for virus progress

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising Friday as investors latch onto strands of hope about progress in the fight against the coronavirus. The S&P 500 was up more than 1.5% in midday trading, though the gains have faded a bit since the open. The gains followed jumps of better than 2% in Europe and Asia. Markets rose despite scary data about the economic and human toll of the virus. The stock market tries to set prices now for where business conditions will be in the future, and some investors are focusing more on the possibility of a reopening economy than on the current dismal data