Stocks Spurred Higher on Vaccine News

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 jumped on Monday as investors cheered trial data from drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech indicating their Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective. Shares of airlines and other travel-related stocks posted the biggest gains.

The 30-stock Dow strengthened 849.26 points, or 3%, to conclude Monday at 29,172.66, its biggest one-day gain since June 5.

The S&P 500 hiked 41.06 points, or 1.2%, to 3,550.50.

The NASDAQ sank 181.45 points, or 1.5%, to 11,713.78, as traders rotated out of high-flying technology names that outperformed during the pandemic into more beaten-down value stocks.

The announcement was seen on Wall Street as a sign that the pharmaceutical industry may soon have a viable way to control a disease that has derailed the U.S. economy for much of 2020 and has killed more than 230,000 Americans.

The 90% effective rate from Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech was better than what the market was expecting. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that a vaccine that was 50% to 60% effective would be acceptable.

Travel, restaurant and hospitality companies that saw their equities swoon in the spring as Covid surged saw some of the strongest rallies on Monday following Pfizer’s announcement. On Monday, however, these names ripped higher.

Shares of cruise-operator Carnival Corp. rocketed by 39.3%, Southwest Airlines jumped 9.7% and the Walt Disney Company popped 11.9% as investors bet a vaccine may allow more vacationers to attend its many amusement parks.

Bank stocks also rallied on hopes of a quicker return to normal economic activity. JPMorgan Chase gained 13.5%, and Bank of America added 14.2%. Citigroup advanced 11.5%.

The so-called stay-at-home trade struggled. Zoom Video traded 17.4% lower and Amazon slid 5.1%. Netflix dipped 8.6%. Teladoc Health dropped 13.7%.

Monday also marked the first trading day after media projected that former Vice President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election against incumbent President Donald Trump. The call came four days after Election Day and amid close counts in several battleground states.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were sharply lower, lifting yields to 0.93% from Friday’s 0.82%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed $3.45 to $39.98 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $86.20 to $1,865.50