Stocks skyrocket to record levels on Pfizer’s optimistic vaccine news

Stock markets rocketed higher Monday after Pfizer said early research shows its coronavirus vaccine is effective and investors breathed a sigh of relief after days of U.S. presidential limbo ended with Democrat Joe Biden declared the president-elect.

Markets were already sharply higher on the U.S. election result when Pfizer said that data shows vaccine shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, indicating the company is on track this month to file an emergency-use application with U.S. regulators.

The S&P 500 escalated 3.6%, to more than 3,600, shortly after the market opened, topping its previous record intraday high of 3,588 from September, and its record closing high from that same date. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1,488 points, or 5.3%, to an all-time high of more than 29,800. The Dow’s previous record intraday high was 29,568 in February.

Any economic recovery depends on checking the pandemic, and investors pounced upon the news. Pfizer’s data is only preliminary and does not mean a vaccine is imminent. Getting the vaccine to billions of people will be a massive undertaking, even if it is approved.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 jumped 5.6%, to 5,239, while Germany’s DAX surged 5.1% to 13,112. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 4% to 6,145.

Markets were already buoyant about the result of the U.S. elections, which saw Biden win the presidency and a strong chance of Republicans maintaining the Senate.

“This means less uncertainty, less turmoil in terms of foreign relations, and reversal of some futile policies which were put by the Trump administration,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade, said in a commentary.

Many analysts expect trade tensions to de-escalate under a Biden presidency. Still, not all trade tensions are expected to vanish even if Biden rolls back some of the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on U.S. trading partners, especially China, in the past several years.

The European Union pressed ahead Monday with plans to impose tariffs and other penalties on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over illegal American support for plane maker Boeing. That followed a World Trade Organization ruling in the U.S.’s favor over EU support for Airbus.

For now, investors seem inclined to shrug off Trump’s refusal to concede and threats of legal action. With Republicans expected to retain their grip on a majority in the Senate, they are betting on continuity in tax, regulatory and other policies, analysts said.

“Trump not conceding a loss is near-term noise looking to wrong-foot Biden at the start of his presidency while Republicans in a position to not concede ground on legislation may continue to frustrate Biden’s agenda,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

If Republicans remain in charge of the Senate, chances for a big package of economic aid are weaker, and the Federal Reserve will likely need to step up with more support, said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda.

“If Republicans remain in charge of the Senate, chances for a big package of economic aid are weaker, and the Federal Reserve will likely need to step up with more support, said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda.

However, with the Senate in GOP hands, many investors are pleased that Biden will have a tougher time passing legislation unfriendly to the market, such as raising corporate taxes.

Despite rising infections and deaths from the pandemic, economies have continued to recover from the shocks of earlier shutdowns to combat outbreaks.

Customs data released Saturday showed China’s export growth accelerated in October, boosting the total so far this year back above pre-coronavirus levels for the first time. Exports in October rose 11.4% over a year earlier to $237.2 billion, up from September’s 9.9% gain, while imports rose 4.7% by value to $178.7 billion, decelerating from the previous month’s 13.2% surge.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

40 thoughts on “Stocks skyrocket to record levels on Pfizer’s optimistic vaccine news

  1. “Markets were already sharply higher on the US Election result”. . . . ?????
    There you go again IBJ.
    We already have one worthless newspaper in town. Just the facts please. Not your “opinion”.
    Futures were up about 150 +/- until vaccine news broke and they shot to +1500.

    1. John C, nearly every news article anywhere about the market, including WSJ, etc., has some “take” on why the market moved. I agree they are usually guessing but the IVJ is not unique in this regard.

    1. Another prediction: they’ll be playing “Don’t Stop” at the inauguration all night. Yes, that was a Clinton thing, but nothing in the past has prevented Biden from “borrowing“ ideas from others.

    2. Hey conspiracy guys – do you remember the part that all of the scientists and pharma companies were saying for many months that they were getting close, but it wouldn’t be ready by the (artificially contrived) election date? That they needed to follow the science, and that the initial results might be in by October or November, but they needed to wait 60 days, as they ALWAYS do, to do follow up to ensure there aren’t any bad side effects that make an effective vaccine dangerous?

      And I’d bet $1,000 you’re wrong on the mask question on inauguration. If only there were an impartial agent to hold the funds since I wouldn’t trust you to honor a bet. Mark and Chris, WTH difference does it make what song they play? You are surely going to boycott watching any of it anyway.

    3. Pfizer agreed to a nearly 2B sale agreement with the US government. They had a guaranteed revenue source from the government. They may not have directly accepted R&D funding, but they had a purchase agreement that backstopped dev cost, signed by the full faith of the US government.

    4. Nicolas – wrong – no backstop. They haven’t taken any money yet. They have agreed to sell the first 100 million doses at $20 each, an eminently reasonable price, and they won’t get that money unless they develop a vaccine that works. So, no, there’s no backstop on R&D. So, is it nice for them to know they have a ready customer to buy the product of it’s successful. But really, they could easily predict they’d be able to sell it even if they didn’t have a government guarantee. The TAM is 7.6 billion people. And even if you were right, the government helping manufacturers during the pandemic is hardly something for Trump to thump his chest about.

    5. I’m not wrong. The government ordered almost 2B of vaccines once available. That’s the definition of a backstop. That’s the definition of a subsidy. Thanks for playing.

  2. Thank God for President Trump! Phizer waiting until after the election is criminal! Project Warp Speed getting a 90% effective vaccine in 8 months is remarkable!

    1. Hey Jeffrey, Pfizer didn’t take a dime of Warp Speed money. Save your thanks to God about Trump, the one that has led an effectual response for eight months that have cost tens of thousands of extra deaths, with many more to come before President Biden takes over.

  3. I will happily take a piece of the “no masks on the stage” action. I bet You a healthy serving of Crow. You seriously believe that Biden will reverse everything he has said and set an example by not wearing a mask, and telling his folks to not wear masks? Really, Thomas?

    1. Right on Bob B. At most, he will be socially distanced and take it off for his inauguration speech.

  4. In the next 30 days the Biden Administration will be taking full credit for the vaccine. Trump has plenty of faults but pushing through the vaccine research is something he should get full credit for. Anyone else think the announcement 5 days after the election is a coincidence??

    1. Exactly, and his blue ribbon medical panel given 6 mos to have a plan? Most if not all of the vaccines will be out and delivered. smh.

    2. Doug T., the problem with your “logic” is that there will be many people that will refuse to take a vaccine, just like the nimrods that refuse to wear a mask. Polls indicate as many as 30%-50% won’t get the vaccine. Just as well – they can win the Darwin award for all I care.

    3. The approximate mortality rate of COVID based upon the CDC’s projected infection models.

    1. Hey comrade, Nicholas, your POV is just that: a conspiracy that pharma was holding back until after the election. And I will return my my longer past that there was never any surprise to learn that they were getting close. Finally, I have to LOL that you’d associate DT with being “prescient”! He couldn’t spell it or pronounce it, much less have a vision into the future.

    2. Comrade. Lol. Do you know what communism is? Seems like you don’t. Day I and others predicted it would be late 20 or early 21 at the most favorable before a vaccine was available. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. My point is that the public messaging around the vaccine was inconsistent with reality (as is obvious by the fact that even last week the public was being told no vaccine this year).

  5. The media the last several years has been a litmus test on intelligence of its readers/viewers. There are obviously tens of millions of “adults” who fall for all the garbage rhetoric and fraud. The election is proving that.

    Sad how far we have fallen as a country on reporting the news, unbiased, and allowing for constituents to decide for themselves.

    Those who fought in all the prior wars that defined the US are rolling in their graves.

    1. Truly incredible. The “people” have abandoned the moral imperatives of equity and self determination in favor “free” stuff and government control. Sad day in America.

    2. JCB, really unsure of which side of the media you’re referring to, other than your reference to the election proving the media is biased. Each of us has our own preference for what media we consume. Some are more biased than others on both sides. There are a few that play pretty much right down the middle. And it’s absurd for you to pretend to know if dead soldiers are rolling over in their graves – maybe they started when your Dear Leader called them Suckers and Losers.

    3. Ah yes, Randy. Just call everyone who doesn’t agree with your socialist money grab a “racist”. Lol.

    4. Nicky, might want to lay of the Kool-Aid “socialist” talk. There is widespread socialism in this country already that people are perfectly happy with. You tiptoed right up to the “welfare queen” and “lazy black people” clichés. Own it, brother!

    5. I despise the existing entitlements and socialism. Why would I want more? I didn’t tiptoe around anything. That’s all you making it about race, bro. Wee bit racist, I see.

    6. If you weren’t aware, there are millions more white people on welfare and social assistance than minorities.

    7. I truly hope that at some point you will stop wallowing in your perceived victimhood and make positive change in your life to enable success. Rather than punishing us for being successful, you should try to become so yourself. Here’s hoping you do. I’m happy to help if I can.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}