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New York Stock Exchange

US Stocks Jump on COVID-19 Vaccine News, Dow Ends +3%

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Key Points

  • The bellwether Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 830 points or 2.95 percent to finish the day at 29,157.97, while the broader S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent to 3,550.5, about 30 points shy of a record.
  • But the tech-heavy Nasdaq reversed early gains and slipped 0.7 percent to close at 11,713.78, as firms that benefitted from the pandemic lost ground, including Zoom and Netflix.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that its vaccine was 90 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19 infections.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

NEW YORK — US shares revved higher on Monday on the news a coronavirus vaccine had shown 90 percent effectiveness, but after blasting through records early in the session, Wall Street closed with more modest gains.

The bellwether Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 830 points or 2.95 percent to finish the day at 29,157.97, while the broader S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent to 3,550.5, about 30 points shy of a record.

But the tech-heavy Nasdaq reversed early gains and slipped 0.7 percent to close at 11,713.78, as firms that benefitted from the pandemic lost ground, including Zoom and Netflix.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that its vaccine was 90 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19 infections.

With spiking coronavirus cases worldwide forcing millions of people to face new restrictions, news that a vaccine might be coming soon offered hope the economy could begin to return to normal in coming months.

Jack Ablin of Cresset wealth advisors said the message of vaccine progress was, “We’ve overcome the health crisis, and now we have a much clearer path to recovery.”

Industries beaten down by the pandemic celebrated, including travel shares like cruise companies, along with pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer shares gained 7.7 percent.

“Those companies, any airlines or cruise ships, were losing so much cash, we were concerned that they may not survive,” Ablin told AFP.

“Now that we have a better sense of the schedule, it’s an all-clear signal for investors to delve back into these cyclical and vulnerable names.”

But videoconference service Zoom that millions of people have relied on during the pandemic fell sharply, plunged more than 17 percent, while streaming service Netflix fell 8.8 percent.

The vaccine development overtook news about the US election, in which Democrat Joe Biden unseated President Donald Trump’s bid for a second term, and investors did not seem concerned by the incumbent’s many legal challenges to the result.

Meanwhile, fast-food chain McDonald’s fell 1.5 percent despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

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