S&P, Dow futures rise after Moderna says vaccine 94.5% effective

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Dow rose on Monday after Moderna became the second U.S. company in a week to report positive results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial, raising hopes of a quicker economic recovery from a pandemic-led recession.

FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Moderna Inc MRNA.O soared 15% in premarket trading as it said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial.

Nasdaq 100 futures NQcv1 fell as investors again sold some of this year’s “stay-at-home” winners, although gains of about a percent for Dow 1YMcv1 and S&P 500 futures EScv1 were less stellar than those after a similar release from Pfizer Inc PFE.N a week ago.

Travel-related stocks including United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL.O, American Airlines Group Inc AAL.O, Carnival Corp CCL.N and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd NCLH.N, which have lost more than half their market capitalization this year due to the pandemic, jumped between 7% and 10%.

“This enables managers to now more broadly expose their portfolios to new pockets of growth,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital Llc in New York.

“You could potentially have a little bit of profit-taking in the morning, but on balance there’s not much to sell in this news in the fact that most (fund) managers went into the election flatfooted and now they’ve got to play catch up in the year end.”

Bets of a working COVID-19 vaccine fueled gains on Wall Street last week, helping investors look past surging coronavirus cases across the United States which topped the 11 million mark, just over a week after hitting 10 million.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX and the small-cap Russell 2000 .RUT ended Friday at record closing highs, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC fell slightly.

At 7:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 475 points, or 1.62%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 38.25 points, or 1.07%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 2.5 points, or nearly flat.

Big U.S. banks JPM.NGS.NMS.N gained between 2.5% and 3.3%, building on gains from last week, while Boeing Co BA.N and Chevron Corp CVX.N jumped more than 3%.

Better-than-expected factory output data from China also bolstered optimism about a rebound from a coronavirus-induced slump, pushing global stocks closer to record highs on Monday.

Among other stocks, Simon Property Group Inc SPG.N jumped 10.2% after the biggest U.S. mall operator cut its purchase price for an 80% stake of rival Taubman Centers Inc TCO.N, as the virus outbreak upends the retail industry sector.

Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N gained 1.5% after launching a new large-scale study to test a two-dose regimen of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

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