Dow climbs as value stocks rise on positive vaccine news

by Jonathan Adams
positive vaccine

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.75%, the S&P 500 gained 0.34%, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.18%

The Dow climbed Monday, as positive vaccine news and better-than-expected economic data underpinned a rally in value stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.75%, or 219 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.34%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.18%.

AstraZeneca said its clinical trials showed its Covid-19 vaccine was 70% effective in protecting against the virus. That was below the efficacy rate of rival vaccines from Pfizer, and Moderna.  The trial involved two dosing regiments, one of which showed a 90% efficacy rate, and the other with 62%.

In another boost in the fight against the virus, Regeneron’s coronavirus antibody cocktail, used by President Trump when he was hospitalized with Covid-19 last month, was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shares were flat.

The backdrop of positive coronavirus treatment-related news prompted investors to up their bets on airlines, banks, and cruise operators – sectors hit hard by the pandemic amid global restrictions to curb the virus.

United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines Group were sharply higher.

Energy, meanwhile, surged nearly 5% on hopes a quicker end to the pandemic could shore up demand. Occidental Petroleum led the gains in the sector, up 13%.

As well as the positive vaccine news,  optimism over stimulus lifted investor sentiment on stocks.

A spokesman for Joe Biden’s presidential transition denied a report that the president-elect was in favour of a smaller fiscal package to ensure a speedier passage through Congress.

This is incorrect. The President-elect fully supports the Speaker and Leader in their negotiations, Biden transition spokesman Andrew Bates told HuffPost when asked about the New York Times story on Monday.

Tech, meanwhile, turned positive after falling into the red earlier in the day, as gains in chip stocks, led by Micron Technology, helped offset mixed weakness in the Fab 5.

Apple, Amazon.com were about unchanged on the day, while Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft  traded lower.

In other news, Snap jumped nearly 5% after launching a feature on its platform to rival TikTok and Instagram Reels.

On the economic front, the composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, which tracks activity in both manufacturing and services together, rose at its fastest pace since March 2015.



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