Wall Street at all-time highs as vaccine moves step closer

By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs on Monday as the first successful data from a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial spurred hopes of the economy recovering quickly from a year of pandemic-driven crisis.

Reuters November 10, 2020 00:06:10 IST
Wall Street at all-time highs as vaccine moves step closer

Wall Street at alltime highs as vaccine moves step closer

By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan

(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs on Monday as the first successful data from a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial spurred hopes of the economy recovering quickly from a year of pandemic-driven crisis.

Oil prices surged more than 8% and U.S. Treasuries sold off after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said data from the large-scale trial of their vaccine showed it was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.

"This (news) is extremely important and should give the market confidence that Pfizer's candidate offers a breakthrough in terms of reaching herd immunity at some point next year," said Robin Winkler, strategist at Deutsche Bank Research.

With Joe Biden's clinching over the weekend of a tightly-fought presidential election also fuelling gains, the blue-chip Dow surged as much as 5.7%.

The companies hit hardest by months of travel bans and lockdowns soared. Boeing Co jumped 14%, while airlines <.XAL> and cruise line operators were trading between 18% and 35% higher.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they had found no serious safety concerns so far and expected to seek U.S. emergency use authorization later this month.

"There are questions left in terms of how quickly Pfizer can get their vaccine to markets all around the world," said Mike Bailey, director of research, FBB Capital Partners, Maryland.

"But today's market move suggests... we checked a box in terms of reducing some risk as we look ahead in terms of economy." At 12:41 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 1,323.71 points or 4.67%, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 109.77 points or 3.13% while the Russell 2000 small-cap index <.RUT> leaped 5.6% to an all-time high.

The S&P energy index <.SPNY> was on course for its best day since April, while bank shares <.SPXBK>, often seen as a proxy for the broader economy, jumped about 13%.

In contrast, shares in technology and other companies seen as "stay-at-home" winners in the pandemic were lower or made limited gains.

Netflix Inc fell 5.8% and Amazon.com Inc 2.8%, while Zoom Video and exercise bike maker Peloton Interactive Inc PTON.O> plunged more than 13%, limiting the tech-heavy Nasdaq's <.IXIC> gains to 0.8%.

World stocks scaled a record high earlier in the day and the dollar remained weak as expectations of better global trade ties and more monetary stimulus under President-elect Biden lifted demand for risky assets.

Treasury yields had fallen last week on expectations that Biden would win the White House, but the Senate would be controlled by Republicans, potentially stifling a fiscal stimulus package and putting the onus back on the Federal Reserve.

Biogen Inc slumped about 30% as a panel of experts to the U.S. health regulator voted against the drugmaker experiment Alzheimer's treatment.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 4.6-to-1 on the NYSE and 2.9-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 140 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 385 new highs and 20 new lows.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Arun Koyyur and Patrick Graham)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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