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caption: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 5, 2020. Stocks rallied after Moderna said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was nearly 95% effective.
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A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 5, 2020. Stocks rallied after Moderna said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was nearly 95% effective.
Credit: AP

Stocks Surge After Moderna's Vaccine News Reinforce Hopes About COVID-19 Fight

Stocks surged Monday, extending a recent powerful rally, after Moderna became the second drug maker to tout progress towards developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 349 points, or 1.2%, soon after the markets opened. The S&P500 was up 0.7%, while the Nasdaq was up 0.6%.

Moderna said its experimental coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective at preventing people from getting the coronavirus.

The news came about a week after Pfizer and partner BioNTEch sparked a massive rally in markets after touting an experimental COVID-19 vaccine that was more than 90% effective.

The two developments are raising hope for a global economy facing resurgences of the pandemic.

More than 11 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States, according to a COVID-19 tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The country reported 166,555 new cases on Sunday, with 1,266 new deaths.

Just like last week, airlines and leisure companies that have been hurt by shutdowns and the reduced travel rose on the news. Royal Caribbean Cruises rose 6.8%, while Delta Airlines rose 3.1%.

However, some stocks that have benefitted from the lockdowns fell. Zoom Video Communications lost 0.8%, while Peloton lost 0.6%.

Investors were also mollified by comments from two advisers to top President-elect Joe Biden, who said no nationwide lockdowns were being contemplated in response to the pandemic.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told "Fox News Sunday" that he preferred a targeted approach to fighting the virus, not a wholesale closure of the economy.

"If we just lock down the entire country without targeting our efforts, then we are going to exacerbate the 'pandemic fatigue' people are feeling, you're going to hurt jobs and the economy, you're going to shut down schools and hurt the education of our children," he said. [Copyright 2020 NPR]