Wall Street hits record highs as vaccine trial results raise hopes

By Sinéad Carew NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's three major indexes hit record highs on Monday as the first positive data from a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial prompted hopes that an economic recovery from the pandemic-driven crisis was finally in sight. Oil prices surged more than 8% and pushed up energy stocks while U.S. Treasuries sold off after U.S.

Reuters November 10, 2020 02:05:46 IST
Wall Street hits record highs as vaccine trial results raise hopes

Wall Street hits record highs as vaccine trial results raise hopes

By Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's three major indexes hit record highs on Monday as the first positive data from a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial prompted hopes that an economic recovery from the pandemic-driven crisis was finally in sight.

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

Saturday's news that Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidential election was also a reassuring confirmation of what investors had already been counting on by the end of last week, according to market strategists.

"Election uncertainty is fading into the rearview mirror. Now we have this boost of investor enthusiasm after the vaccine news," said to Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Baird in Milwaukee. "All the types of companies that would benefit from us returning to a pre-COVID world are the big winners today."

Sectors such as energy, travel and financials which were among the hardest hit by lockdowns aimed at curbing the virus were the biggest percentage gainers on Monday.

While the vaccine study is still ongoing, 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.

"It's not that we're out of the woods with COVID. It's that the vaccine starts to remove the worst case scenario that we surge out of control and go back into a national lockdown," said Antonelli. "The market's looking into the future, to the first and second quarter of next year."

At 2:42 p.m. EST (1942 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 1,265.57 points, or 4.47%, to 29,588.97, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 94.72 points, or 2.70%, to 3,604.16 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 12.37 points, or 0.1%, to 11,907.60.

The S&P energy index <.SPNY>, up 15%, was on course for its biggest daily percentage gain since March as investors bet demand would climb again when people become more comfortable with the idea of traveling as the health crisis subsides.

Also, bank shares <.SPXBK>, often seen as a proxy for the broader economy, jumped about 14%.

The companies hit hardest by months of travel bans and lockdowns soared. the NYSE airlines index <.XAL> was up 19% while plane maker Boeing Co jumped 15%. Cruise line operator Carnival Corp was up more than 32%.

In contrast, the technology sector and specific companies that had outperformed during the pandemic as they were seen as "stay-at-home" winners were making smaller gains or declining.

Netflix Inc fell 6.6% and Amazon.com Inc 2.8%, while Zoom Video fell more than 14% and exercise bike maker Peloton Interactive Inc PTON.O> plunged 15.6%, limiting the Nasdaq's <.IXIC>.

Stocks around the world 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 also lifted demand for risky assets.

Biogen Inc slumped about 27.7% as a panel of experts to the U.S. health regulator voted against the drugmaker experiment Alzheimer's treatment.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.44-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 140 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 244 new highs and 23 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Arun Koyyur, Patrick Graham and Tom Brown)

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

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.