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Wall Street expected to charge higher on fresh vaccine news

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More promising vaccine news – this time from Moderna Inc’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) candidate – is set to lure buyers into the market when Wall Street opens today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is expected to storm almost 500 points higher to 29,978 while the broader-based S&P 500 is expected to open 41 points heavier at 3,626.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which has outperformed since traders started rotating back into stocks that were hit hard by the lockdown, is tipped to open 120 points higher at 11,949.

Shares in Moderna were up by around one-eighth after the company said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate met its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 trial, with 94.5% efficacy.

The efficacy rate compares very favorably with the test results from the vaccine being developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and it is believed that Moderna’s vaccine will also not require the heavy-duty freezing in transit that will be required by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The vaccines are appearing over the hill not a moment too soon, judging by the latest US coronavirus case statistics.

The Covid Tracking Project reported 146,000 new US cases yesterday, up 31% from the 111,000 reported on Sunday last week.

The only good news is that the rate of increase in new cases might have topped out.

“This is a positive sign, but we need to see more data before we can be sure it is a real shift and not just noise. The test positivity rate continues to increase and is now trending above 12%, high enough to suggest that many cases are undetected, so the risk of a renewed acceleration is real,” said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

According to Daiwa Capital Markets, the United States is “facing an interesting combination” of contrasting pandemic-related developments: the spread of the coronavirus has accelerated dramatically, while at the same time drug companies have noted substantial progress in developing a vaccine.

“The development that dominates over the next few months will have a profound influence on the performance of global economies and financial markets. At this point, we favor an optimistic view on the likely outcome. Our favorable view largely reflects prospects for a vaccine, but it also has been influenced by the recent performance of the economy, which seems to be holding up reasonably well despite the surge in the number of new Covid cases,” Daiwa said.

Four things to watch for on Monday:

  • The news of its vaccine effectiveness will likely send investors rushing towards Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) after biotech reported its coronavirus vaccine in 94.5% effective at protecting patients against the disease
  • By extension, investors are also likely to watch shares in Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), which unveiled its own 90% effective vaccine last week sending markets soaring
  • Meanwhile, the earnings calendar will bring first quarter figures from cybersecurity group Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) and meat processor Tyson Foods Inc (NYSE:TSN), which will post fourth quarter figures
  • There is little on the macro calendar, although the New York Empire State manufacturing index may provide some insight into how the sector is faring in the economically prosperous state. The index is expected to rise to 15 in November from 10.5 in October

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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