U.S. Stocks Finish Higher After Promising Vaccine Study
By Joe Wallace and Michael Wursthorn
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose a fourth straight day
Wednesday, notching its longest win streak in more than a month,
after investors got several doses of good news.
Signs of progress toward a coronavirus vaccine by Moderna
propelled most corners of the stock market higher. Goldman Sachs
Group added to the advance after reporting one of its best quarters
by revenue ever. Apple won a key court case in Europe, and economic
figures on industrial production surprised to the upside.
Those developments helped push the blue-chip index up 227.51
points, or 0.9%, to 26870.10. The S&P 500 rose 29.04 points, or
0.9%, to 3226.56, leaving it off 0.1% from where it started the
year. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 61.91 points, or 0.6%, to
Most of the gains followed the release of a new study suggesting
Moderna had reached a breakthrough with its coronavirus vaccine,
setting the stage for a larger trial at the end of this month.
Cruise-ship operators, airliners and other stocks sensitive to the
coronavirus crisis led the stock market higher. Shares of Moderna
rose $5.18, or 6.9%, to $80.22.
"Every time we get some sort of positive news on the vaccine
front, then understandably markets benefit from that," said Paul
Jackson, head of asset-allocation research at Invesco. "The way
it's looking at the moment, it really looks as though a vaccine is
the only hope. This thing is not going away."
Promising developments on various coronavirus vaccines in
development have acted as crucial catalysts for some of the stock
market's biggest days of gains, sometimes even helping to pull
indexes out of a rut.
Wednesday's development appeared to keep the trend intact after
several days of sloppy trading, said Thomas Lee, managing partner
and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, in a note to
clients. The vaccine, along with the passing of the U.S.'s July 15
tax day, could mark a turning point for markets.
"There are piles of cash seen in [hedge funds], macro funds,
mutual funds and individual investors," Mr. Lee said. "Health-care
data continues to support some sort of cure, the focus on
"re-closings" ultimately fades. And markets continue to be "risk
Some better-than-expected earnings results also boosted stock
prices on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs shocked Wall Street by reporting
a $2.4 billion profit last quarter, more than double the
expectation of forecasters and bucking the lackluster results
revealed by JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and other banks.
Shares of Goldman rose $2.89, or 1.4%, to $216.90 after paring
an earlier gain.
U.S. Bancorp also topped expectations for the last quarter,
sending shares up $1.35, or 3.7%, to $37.64.
Apple had contributed to the session's earlier gains after the
tech giant won a major legal battle with the European Union. The
bloc's second-highest court sided with the U.S. company over a
EUR13 billion ($14.8 billion) tax bill that EU antitrust officials
had said Apple owed to Ireland. Shares rose $2.67, or 0.7%, to
Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production continued to recover in
June, the Federal Reserve said. Production rose 5.4%, accelerating
from the 1.4% growth recorded in May.
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose to 0.629%, from 0.614%
Tuesday, in another sign of investors' optimism.
Overseas, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.8%, with gains for airline
and cruise-line stocks. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.6%
and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed largely flat after President Trump
authorized sanctions targeting Chinese officials who crack down on
the rights of Hong Kong
Write to Joe Wallace at Joe.Wallace@wsj.com and Michael
Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 15, 2020 16:56 ET (20:56 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.