On Tuesday the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs, as hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon and better than anticipated factory data from China boosted bets of a speedy economic recovery. Investors all over the world are following updates on a couple of vaccine candidates as well as the start of global shipments as drugmakers submit paperwork for regulatory approvals.
When Pfizer Inc and BioNTech sought emergency approval of their vaccine candidate from the European regulator, Pfizer gained about 5%. The partners are now head to head with competitor Moderna which jumped 11% after announcing it would ask the regulator to recommend conditional approval for its shot.
Larry Adam, chief investment officer at Raymond James said, “The optimism continues to build for a vaccine to come out and be very successful… There is this expectation that you’re going to see a global synchronized recovery next year.”
Investors neglected data showing U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in November amid a rise in COVID-19 infections that has urged state-wise restrictions, with California considering new “stay-at-home” orders. The most important sectors of S&P rose with economically-sensitive energy and financials leading gains.
On Monday, the Dow closed its best month in more than 30 years, as breakthroughs in vaccine stimulated a shift toward sectors hardest-hit by virus induced shutdowns.