Dow Rockets 1,434 points to Record High As Pfizer Says Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Stunning Effectiveness

While cyclical stocks in the airline, restaurant, and financial sectors soared, popular work-from-home names like Zoom, Peloton, and Netflix plummeted.
Dow Rockets 1,434 points to Record High As Pfizer Says Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Stunning Effectiveness
Image credit: Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

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Covid-19 vaccine progress on Monday appeared to be what the stock market needed to hit new highs. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average opened at intraday records after Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their COVID-19 vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing the illness during its phase-three trial, setting it up for an emergency rollout.

The drugmakers said no serious safety concerns had been observed throughout the trial, which enrolled about 44,000 patients.

Pfizer and BioNTech are now ramping up production of the vaccine. They said they expected to produce more than 50 million doses by the end of the year and more than 1 billion doses in 2021.

Here's where U.S. indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Monday:

The vaccine-progress news rippled through various areas of the stock market. Pfizer soared 8% as investors expect the company to benefit from a swift rollout of the vaccine.

The cyclical reopening trade also fueled gains on Monday morning. Airline and cruise-line stocks surged, as investors likely anticipate pent-up demand for travel once a vaccine has been widely administered. AMC Entertainment Holdings led a broad rally in movie-theater stocks, spiking roughly 48% on Monday morning.

Berkshire Hathaway soared 7% on stock purchases, record buybacks, and the Pfizer vaccine news.

On the flip side, work-from-home stocks suffered on the news, as people are more likely to spend less time at home and get back to offices once the Covid-19 pandemic is in the rearview mirror. Zoom, Peloton, DocuSign, and Netflix cratered on Monday.

Biogen plummeted 32% after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee signaled that its Alzheimer's therapy would not receive approval early next year.

Oil prices soared. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 11%, to $41.33 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, jumped 10%, to $43.48 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Gold slid on Monday, falling as much as 4.2, to $1,868.97 per ounce.

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