- Futures on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones hit intraday highs, after drugmaker Moderna said its COVID-19 trial vaccine was found to be 94.5% effective.
- Crude oil futures rose more than 3%, while tech stocks and gold fell and Treasuries yields remained stable.
- Moderna said its product could be stored for up to a month at typical refrigerator temperatures, fueling optimism that began last week with rival pharmaceutical group Pfizer’s announcement of a promising vaccine candidate.
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U.S. equity futures surged on Monday, after drugmaker Moderna said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate reached 94.5% effectiveness, bolstering optimism that a way to control the virus could soon be in place.
The finding comes from a study of 30,000 people that compared volunteers who received a two-dose treatment regimen of Moderna to those who received a placebo. The vaccine was found to be 94.5% effective in a preliminary analysis.
Futures on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones rose 1.4-1.8% to trade around session highs, while those on the high-tech Nasdaq 100, which contains many beneficiaries of the work-from-home economy created by the pandemic, returned its initial gains and fell 0.1%
Small cap stocks looked set to take a bigger leap early in regular trading later. Russell 2000 Index futures were up 2.6% for the last time. Many of them have a high exposure to the underlying economy and could benefit first from the deployment of an effective vaccine.
Moderna shares traded up to 9% higher in pre-trade, while those of healthcare rivals Pfizer and AstraZeneca fell 1 to 1.8%. Johnson & Johnson shares rose about 1.4% in pre-market trading.
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Moderna’s vaccine has a crucial advantage over Pfizer’s vaccine. It can be stored for a month at typical refrigerator temperatures (36 degrees Fahrenheit to 46 degrees Fahrenheit), while Pfizer’s shot should be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit, requiring dry ice and special containers.
“Vaccine-related headlines will dominate the news cycle by the end of the year. The positive news should support risk appetite (thus, by extension, the negative US dollar), ”Stephen Gallo, head of European currency strategy at BMO Capital Markets said in a note. .
The dollar fell globally, especially against emerging market currencies, following the news.
Global stocks have been in shambles since Pfizer announced last Monday that its vaccine had passed the final stages of its clinical trial and was found to be effective 90 percent of the time. The S&P 500 hit record highs, while the Tokyo Nikkei hit its highest level in nearly 30 years.
Crude oil extended its gains. Brent futures were up 3.5% to $ 44.28 per barrel, while WTI futures were up 3.9% to trade around $ 41.70 per barrel. barrel.
Meanwhile, safe havens seen as US Treasuries and gold have come under pressure.
Gold fell 0.9% to $ 1,870.35 an ounce near daily lows, while the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was unchanged around 0.887%.
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