Dow Rallies as Investors Cheer Possible Return of Yellen, Vaccine News

© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow jumped Monday, led by energy on positive vaccine news, while a report suggesting President-elect Joe Biden plans to select former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary stoked hopes for further stimulus.    

The rose 1.13%, or 327 points. The was up 0.61% while the added 0.22%.

Biden will nominate Yellen as Treasury Secretary, The Wall Street Journal reported. During her tenure as Fed Chair, Yellen was viewed as pro-stimulus, and if nominated is widely expected to support fiscal-boosting measures to shore up the economy. 

The news gave stocks a second wind, adding steel to the early-day vaccine-fueled rally.  

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) said its clinical trials showed its Covid-19 vaccine was 70% effective in protecting against the virus. That was below the efficacy rate of rival vaccines from Pfizer (NYSE:), and Moderna (NASDAQ:). The trial involved two dosing regimens, one of which showed a 90% efficacy rate, and the other with 62%.

In another boost in the fight against the virus, Regeneron’s coronavirus antibody cocktail, used by President Trump when he was hospitalized with Covid-19 last month, was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:) shares were up about 1%.

The backdrop of positive coronavirus treatment-related news prompted investors to up their bets on airlines, banks, and cruise operators – sectors hit hard by the pandemic amid global restrictions to curb the virus.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:), and American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:) were sharply higher.

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Energy, meanwhile, surged nearly 5% on hopes a quicker end to the pandemic could shore up demand. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:) led the gains in the sector, up 17%.

Tech, meanwhile, turned positive after falling into the red earlier in the day, as gains in chip stocks, led by Micron Technology (NASDAQ:), helped offset weaker performance in the Fab 5.

Apple (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:), (NASDAQ:) Facebook (NASDAQ:), and Microsoft  (NASDAQ:) ended lower.

In other news, Snap (NYSE:) gained 2% after launching a feature on its platform to rival TikTok and Instagram Reels.

On the economic front, the composite , which tracks activity in both manufacturing and services together, rose at its fastest pace since March 2015.

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