Stocks Rise on Covid-19 Vaccine Results
By Joe Wallace
U.S. stocks rose Monday after promising results on a Covid-19
vaccine bolstered hopes for an economic rebound in 2021.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 263 points, or 0.9%, in
morning trading, an upbeat start for the blue-chip index after it
closed last week with losses.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq
Composite advanced 0.3%.
The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was
found to be as much as 90% effective in preventing infections
without serious side effects in a large trial. The results added to
optimism among investors that the deployment of effective vaccines
can help bring coronavirus under control next year, allowing
beaten-down sectors of the economy to recover.
"When you look into the details, it looks like very good news,"
said Paul O'Connor, head of multi asset at Janus Henderson
Investors. Unlike shots under development from Pfizer and Moderna,
AstraZeneca's vaccine can be stored at temperatures above zero
degrees Celsius, easing the distribution process.
Pfizer and partner BioNTech on Friday asked the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration to clear the companies' Covid-19 vaccine and
said distribution could potentially begin in mid-December.
Preliminary data showed U.S. business activity accelerated in
November to a more than five-year high despite a surge in
coronavirus infections and tightening restrictions. The data from
IHS Markit, based on surveys of purchasing managers, showed both
manufacturing and services activity remained in expansion
Ten of the S&P 500's 11 sectors gained Monday, with
economically sensitive sectors like energy and financials among the
Cruise operators were among the winners from the vaccine news,
with shares of Royal Caribbean Group gaining 2.4%.
"There's a growing prospect of a significant normalization of
economic activity in the second half of next year," said Mr.
O'Connor. Still, he added much of the vaccine optimism was already
baked into stock prices and he thinks the current surge of
coronavirus is likely to weigh on economic growth in the U.S. in
the coming months.
AstraZeneca shares in London fell 3.3% as some investors
appeared to be disappointed that its vaccine candidate fell short
of the high effectiveness rates reported by Pfizer and Moderna.
Moderna shares rallied 3.9%, while Pfizer stock slipped
The U.S. reported 142,732 new cases of coronavirus Sunday and
registered a record number of hospitalizations for the 13th
straight day. Reported case counts are generally lower over the
weekend, and the country's rolling seven-day average continues to
In Europe, where authorities have taken a more stringent
approach to stemming the second wave of coronavirus, restrictions
are already taking their toll on economy. Business activity has
fallen so far this month, surveys of purchasing managers by IHS
Markit showed Monday, with a particularly steep decline in
The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was roughly flat in recent
trading. Asian markets were broadly higher, with China's Shanghai
Composite Index climbing 1.1%. South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.9%
after government data showed exports rose 11% in the first 20 days
of November, a boost for the trade-reliant economy.
Brent crude futures rose 1.4% to $45.59 a barrel, putting the
global oil benchmark on track for its highest settlement since
In government bonds, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes ticked
up to 0.854%, from 0.828% Friday. Yields rise when bond prices
Write to Joe Wallace at Joe.Wallace@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 23, 2020 10:36 ET (15:36 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.