Stocks jump on coronavirus vaccine progress, $1T stimulus package in the works

Coronavirus vaccine progress moving along swiftly

U.S. equity markets rallied Monday, closing near the highs of the session, as President Trump discussed progress on a coronavirus vaccine and Republicans readied their $1 trillion stimulus bill.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27791.44+357.96+1.30%
SP500S&P 5003360.47+9.19+0.27%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10968.356828-42.63-0.39%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 114 points, or 0.43 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.74 percent and 1.67 percent, respectively.

Trump, speaking during the final hour of trading at the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, noted the swift progress being made in the race for a coronavirus vaccine.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MRNAMODERNA INC.72.01-2.09-2.82%
NVAXNOVAVAX INC.178.51+8.22+4.83%

Earlier in the session, Moderna announced the beginning of a Phase 3 trial for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Novavax also rose in tandem.

Along with the progress on a vaccine, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is set to unveil his $1 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, which reduces the recently expired unemployment benefits, sends a $1,200 check to Americans making less than $75,000 a year and provides billions of dollars of aid to schools and universities. Congress has just one week before a planned recess to bridge the gap between the Republican plan and the $3 trillion package passed by House Democrats in May.

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Investors shrugged off developments overnight which saw the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, China, shuttered as Beijing retaliated for last week’s closing of its Houston consulate.

Escalating tensions between the U.S. and China and the U.S. dollar sliding to its lowest level since September 2018 helped propel gold prices to record highs.

Gold futures for July delivery climbed 1.78 percent to close at a record-high $1,931 per ounce while silver gained 7.3 percent to $24.476, a level last seen in August 2013.

Miners, including Barrick Gold Corp., Newmont Corp. and Pan American Silver Corp., benefited from surging gold and silver prices.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GOLDBARRICK GOLD CORP.28.72-0.15-0.52%
NEMNEWMONT GOLDCORP CORPORATION67.89-1.02-1.48%
PAASPAN AMERICAN SILVER CORP36.25-0.45-1.23%

DraftKings was pressured lower after two MLB games were postponed after at least 13 members of the Miami Marlins organization were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Southwest Airlines Co. CEO Gary Kelly sent a letter to employees indicating the company has no plans to lay off or furlough workers, cut pay or reduce benefits through at least the end of 2020.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LUVSOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.34.99+1.71+5.14%

Elsewhere, Software giant SAP SE plans to spin-off Qualtrics less than two years after purchasing the software-survey provider for $8 billion.

Looking at earnings, Hasbro Inc. lost $33.9 million in the three months through June as supply-chain disruptions and store closing made it difficult for the toy maker to meet consumer demand.

Albertsons Companies Inc. reported quarterly revenue spiked 21 percent from a year ago to $22.75 billion, just shy of the $22.79 billion that was expected. Meanwhile, adjusted earnings of $1.35 a share topped the $1.32 consensus. The report was the grocer’s first since going public in June.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SAPSAP SE159.64-1.53-0.95%
HASHASBRO INC.78.97+2.22+2.89%
ACIALBERTSONS COMPANIES15.37+0.02+0.13%

Looking at oil, West Texas Intermediate crude gained 31 cents to $41.60 a barrel.

On the data front, durable goods orders rose 7.3 percent month-over-month, outpacing the 7 percent increase that was expected. However, durable goods excluding transportation was up 3.3 percent MoM, missing the 3.6 percent gain that analysts were anticipating.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.609 percent.

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In Europe, Germany’s DAX was little changed while Britain’s FTSE and France’s CAC were off 0.31 percent and 0.34 percent, respectively.

Asian markets finished mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite adding 0.27 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.41 percent and Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.16 percent.