Stocks marched higher around the world Wednesday following an encouraging report on a possible treatment for COVID-19.

The S&P 500 closed 2.7% higher after Gilead Sciences said its experimental drug proved effective against the new coronavirus in a major U.S. government study that put it to a strict test.

Communication services, technology and financial stocks powered much of the rally, which overshadowed a government report showing the U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate in the first three months of the year, the worst showing since the financial crisis in 2008.

On Wednesday:

The S&P 500 index climbed 76.12 points, or 2.7%, to 2,939.51.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 532.31 points, or 2.2%, to 24,663.86.

The Nasdaq gained 306.98 points, or 3.6%, to 8,914.71.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 62.68 points, or 4.8%, to 1,360.76.

For the week:

The S&P 500 is up 102.77 points, or 3.6%.

The Dow is up 858.59 points, or 3.6%.

The Nasdaq is up 280.19 points, or 3.2%

The Russell 2000 is up 127.71 points, or 10.4%.

For the year:

The S&P 500 is down 291.27 points, or 9%.

The Dow is down 3,904.58 points, or 13.7%.

The Nasdaq is down 57.90 points, or 0.6%

The Russell 2000 is down 307.71 points, or 18.4%.