Dow soars 700 points for biggest jump in a month, boosted by coronavirus vaccine hope

Stocks rallied on Monday, rebounding from losses last week, as news from a Moderna trial stoked optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 700 points higher, or nearly 3%. The S&P 500 gained 2.5% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.7%.

Moderna shares rallied 26% after the company reported “positive” phase one results for a potential coronavirus vaccine. The company said that after two doses all 45 trial participants had developed coronavirus antibodies.

Shares of companies that would benefit from the economy reopening also rose. Disney traded 6.3% higher while MGM Resorts traded 8.7% higher. Cruise operator Carnival gained 7.4%. Delta and United Airlines both rose more than 10% along with American.

Chart of the daily percent change in the S&P 500 over the past 11 trading days

“The focus moving forward will be on the opening of the economy, how quickly can it be done and how safely can it be done,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. That’s why those announcements on “therapeutic curative treatments and vaccines are going to be very important.”

Bank stocks rose broadly. Wells Fargo jumped more than 6% while Bank of America and Citigroup both traded nearly 5% higher. JPMorgan Chase advanced 3.9%.

Comments from the Federal Reserve chief also added to the bullish sentiment.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said to CBS’ “60 Minutes” that “there’s a lot more we can do” to help the economy. “We’ve done what we can as we go. But I will say that we’re not out of ammunition by a long shot. No, there’s really no limit to what we can do with these lending programs that we have.”

The central bank leader also said he’s “highly confident” the U.S. economy will claw its way back from the current pullback, but warned that it may not fully recover until a Covid-19 vaccine is complete.

Oil prices rallied in part by the easing of stay-at-home orders. West Texas Intermediate futures were up 10.1%, trading at $32.44 per barrel.

The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 fell 1.1% and 2.2%, respectively, last week with the latter notching its worst week since March. The Dow industrials finished the week down 2.65% for its third negative week in four and its worst week since April 3.

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