After skyrocketing early in the session, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading day on Monday. The major averages pulled back sharply going into the close, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbling into negative territory.
The Dow soared by more than 1,600 points in early trading to reach a new record intraday high before ending the session up 834.57 points or 3 percent at 29,157.97, its highest closing level in well over eight months.
The S&P 500 jumped 41.06 points or 1.2 percent to 3,550.50 but ended the session well off the record intraday high set in early trading. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq slumped 41.06 points or 1.2 percent to 3,550.50, as traders moved money out of tech stocks that benefited from the coronavirus pandemic.
The early rally on Wall Street came following upbeat results from a phase 3 study of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX).
Pfizer and BioNTech said an interim analysis of the results found the vaccine candidate to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior infection.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” said Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla. “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.”
The companies said they plan to submit the vaccine for regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November.
The vaccine news added to positive sentiment generated in reaction to the weekend’s news that Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s is projected to win the presidential election.
Several major news organizations called the race for Biden on Saturday after projecting the former Vice President will win Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes.
The apparent victory for Biden potentially sets up a divided government, with control of the Senate likely to be decided by two run-off elections in Georgia.
However, President Donald Trump has refused to concede the race, alleging widespread voter fraud and launching legal challenges in several key states.
Despite the late-day pullback by the broader markets, Cruise operators Carnival Corp. (CCL), Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) and Royal Caribbean (RCL) still skyrocketed on the day following the upbeat coronavirus vaccine news.
Substantial strength also remained visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 19.3 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. The index soared to its best closing level in five months.
Energy stocks also held on to strong gains amid a sharp increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for December delivery jumping $3.15 to $40.29 a barrel.
Financial, steel and chemical stocks also turned in particularly strong performances on the day but closed off their highs of the session.
Meanwhile, gold stocks moved sharply lower, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 6.8 percent. The sell-off came as the price of gold plunged by nearly $100 an ounce.
Housing, retail and software stocks also came under considerable pressure over the course of the session, contributing to the pullback by the broader markets.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved significantly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 2.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.9 percent.
The major European markets also skyrocketed on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index soared by 7.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index spiked by 4.9 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries moved sharply lower following the coronavirus vaccine news. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, surged up by 13.8 basis points to 0.958 percent.
Trading activity on Tuesday may be somewhat subdued following today’s rally, with a lack of major U.S. economic news potentially keeping some traders on the sidelines.
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