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This Is Why the Dow Jones Surged Nearly 1,000 Points Today

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:57 PM
Francois Aure
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:57 PM
  • The Dow Jones rallied nearly 1,000 points to start the week.
  • Stock market bulls plunged into equities after some positive results from Moderna’s vaccine trials.
  • Donald Trump poured fuel on the fire, calling the results “staggeringly good.”

The Dow Jones enjoyed a monster rally on Monday, spiking nearly 1,000 points as risk appetite exploded on Wall Street.

Today’s story was all about Moderna, whose potential coronavirus vaccine breakthrough  has stock market bulls piling into the index.

Dow Jones Booms on Moderna Vaccine Hopes

Dow Jones, Donald Trump, Moderna, Vaccine, Coronavirus
The Dow Jones boomed on Monday as investors traded on optimism that a coronavirus vaccine will be produced in record time. | Source: Yahoo Finance 

All three of the major U.S. stock market indices soared on Monday , though the Dow and S&P 500 left the tech-heavy Nasdaq in the dust.

  • The Dow surged 931.56 points or 3.93% to 24,616.98.
  • The S&P 500 jumped 3.37% to 2,960.09.
  • The Nasdaq rose 2.45% to 9,235.65.

With next to no economic data to digest over the weekend, investors remained laser-focused on the progress of coronavirus vaccines and treatments that would help life get back to normal in the United States.

Monday brought possibly the most significant piece of news we’ve seen on that front. Moderna announced substantial signs of early progress in their race to become the first biotech firm to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

CEO Stephane Bancel had the following to say in a press release announcing the results :

With today’s positive interim Phase 1 data and the positive data in the mouse challenge model, the Moderna team continues to focus on moving as fast as safely possible to start our pivotal Phase 3 study in July and, if successful, file a BLA.

We are investing to scale up manufacturing so we can maximize the number of doses we can produce to help protect as many people as we can from SARS-CoV-2.

For the Dow Jones, this news was like rocket fuel, and energy prices soared amid the blatant risk-on conditions.

Adding an extra-kick, U.S. President Donald Trump called the results “staggeringly good.” 

Dow Jones, Donald Trump, Moderna
Source: Zeke Miller via Twitter 

Despite all the wild optimism, it’s worth noting that if a vaccine came to market in 2020, it would be the most rapid vaccine development in history . And considering that the mumps vaccine launched in a “record” four years , it wouldn’t even be close.

The flip side is that the global scientific community has never been so singularly focused on developing a single vaccine.

Clearly, stock market bulls dare to dream that a return to everyday life in 2021 may not be such a pipe-dream after all.

Crude Oil Now Acting as a Net Positive for the Stock Market

After dragging on the Dow Jones for some time, crude oil has suddenly become a bright spot for the index.

Energy prices are trending higher, reducing concerns over the decimation of high paying energy jobs in the United States and the significant loss of income from being the world’s largest producer.

But even with WTI above $30 again, economists at ING don’t believe that conditions are improving as quickly as they seem. They warn that the market is underestimating the extent of the supply and demand imbalance :

The fundamentals in the market are improving, but we continue to believe that the market is rallying too much too soon, with the risk that further strength will only prolong the supply and demand imbalance.

Even as lockdowns ease, many analysts fear that the global engine of business and tourist travel won’t recover until there are effective ways to prevent and treat COVID-19.

This means that crude oil’s fate is linked closely to coronavirus vaccine development for the foreseeable future.

Dow 30: King Boeing & Disney Magic Launch the Index Higher

The Dow 30 was completely green on Monday , as every single stock moved higher on the day.

But no DJIA stock moved as aggressively as Boeing, which soared 12% as major airlines and travel stocks rallied in response to the Moderna vaccine news.

Walt Disney – which desperately needs to get its parks open again and resume producing TV and film content – was up 7% on the day. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia revealed it had bought the dip in DIS .

Unsurprisingly, Dow Jones oil supermajors Exxon Mobil and Chevron each shot more than 5% higher. Global growth bellwether Caterpillar was booming too.

Goldman Sachs stock rallied 6%, even after Warren Buffett’s 84% divestment. Goldman and fellow Dow Jones bank stock JPMorgan benefited from rising Treasury yields.

Apple rose 2%, while defensive plays like Walmart and Pfizer brought up the rear with gains much closer to 1%.