Day Traders Diary
The major averages rise once again after AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said their coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, becoming the third inoculation this month that was revealed to be effective in trial data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 327 points higher, or 1.1%, at 29.591. The S&P 500 gained 0.6% to end the day at 3,577 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2% to 11,880.
AstraZeneca said interim analysis showed its vaccine has an average efficacy of 70% with one dosing regimen showing effectiveness of 90%, while the other demonstrating 62% efficacy. This follows late-stage trial data from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna showing that their respective Covid-19 vaccines were around 95% effective.
Shares of cruise lines and airlines jumped on hope distributing these vaccines would reopen the economy and boost travel early next year. Shares of Carnival Corp. added 4.8%, while United Airlines rose 2.6%. Shares of major tech companies struggled, however. Apple dropped nearly 3%, and Netflix slid 2.4%. Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft all posted slight losses.
The Dow hit its session high in the final hour of trading amid news that President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary. The Wall Street Journal first reported the pick. CNBC later confirmed the report through sources. Yellen oversaw a solid economic expansion during her term as Fed chair from 2014 to 2018. During that time, rates remained low, and the S&P 500 rose nearly 60%.
Sentiment was also boosted by strong economic data. IHS Markit said their U.S. manufacturing and services purchasing managers' indexes hit multiyear highs. The flash U.S. services index rose to 57.7, its highest level in more than five years. The manufacturing PMI popped to 56.7, its highest level in over six years.
U.S. Treasuries finished on a lower note, as the positive news flow aided risk sentiment and helped money flow out of defensive assets. The 2-yr yield increased two basis points to 0.17%, and the 10-yr yield increased three basis points to 0.86%. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.2% to 92.54. WTI crude futures 2.2%, or $0.92, to $43.09/bbl.
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