Dow adds 834 points on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough as Nasdaq dips

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine developments lifted multiple assets

Stocks soared on Monday, along with oil, after positive news from Pfizer on a COVID-19 vaccine and after Joe Biden was named president-elect over the weekend.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34479.6 +13.36 +0.04%
SP500 S&P 500 4247.44 +8.26 +0.19%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added over 834 points or nearly 3% although it gave up gains of over 1,700 earlier in the session. The S&P 500 followed a similar pattern, closing off its highs and ending the session 1% higher.

Both touched record highs before losing steam.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14069.423379 +49.09 +0.35%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,346.83 -2.82 -0.08%
ZOOM n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PTON PELOTON INTERACTIVE, INC. 113.12 +7.04 +6.64%

The Nasdaq Composite fell, dragged lower by some of the stay-at-home stocks, such as Amazon Zoom and Peloton.

COVID-19 UPDATE

PFIZER’S COVID-19 VACCINE PROVES 90% EFFECTIVE IN LATEST TRIALS

The catalyst for the rally was confirmation that Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine proved to be 90% effective in the first 94 patients it was tested on.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PFE PFIZER INC. 40.15 -0.53 -1.30%
BNTX BIONTECH SE 238.55 -1.27 -0.53%
MRNA MODERNA, INC. 218.85 +1.85 +0.85%

“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Pfizer CEO and Chairman Dr. Albert Bourla, in a statement. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis."

TRUMP & BIDEN REACT

President Trump, in a tweet, celebrated the developments.

While President-elect Joe Biden said in a statement:

"I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope. At the same time, it is also important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away..."

This is a significant milestone in the fight against a virus that has infected more than 50 million people around the globe, resulting in over 1.2 million deaths. Late Monday, the U.S. surpassed 10 million cases.

COVID-19 TRADE

Travel-related stocks, such as airlines, cruise lines and theme parks, rallied on the developments, along with restaurants.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC. 23.53 +0.07 +0.30%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 46.50 +0.22 +0.48%
RCL ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES 90.09 -0.54 -0.60%
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 177.38 +0.81 +0.46%
CAKE CHEESECAKE 56.08 -0.78 -1.37%

OIL JUMPS ON VACCINE NEWS

Oil also moved back above the $40 per barrel level on vaccine hopes and the view demand will rebound, along with travel.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 48.07 +0.24 +0.50%

STOCKS END MIXED AS S&P HAS BEST POST-ELECTION WEEK SINCE 1932

The game-changing vaccine news comes after Biden and Kamala Harris were declared president-elect and vice president-elect, respectively, after several news outlets, including Fox News, projected the Biden campaign had won Nevada and Pennsylvania, giving them the requisite 270 electoral votes.

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EARNINGS BARRAGE

On the earnings front, McDonald's said third-quarter earnings came in better-than-expected, with U.S. same-store sales rising 4.6%, aided by several new initiatives, including plans for a plant-based burger and a new chicken dish.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MCD MCDONALD'S CORP. 236.93 +2.34 +1.00%
BYND BEYOND MEAT, INC. 149.42 +2.23 +1.51%

Shares rallied as the company's investors day kicked off. Shares of Beyond Meat, which initially dropped on the news, surged more than 6% after a company spokesman told Reuters it co-created the patty with McDonald's.

Over the weekend, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said its third-quarter operating results were negatively impacted by the pandemic, even as the company's equity portfolio surged.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BRKB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Nearly nine out of 10 S&P 500 companies have reported that third-quarter earnings and revenue beat forecasts.

GOLD SLUMPS 

In other commodities, gold tumbled nearly 5% to $1,853.20, the largest one-day percentage drop since June of 2013.

Last week, stocks had their best post-election week since 1932, as tracked by the Dow Jones Market Data Group, rising 7.23%, which is the second-best on record.

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