Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea with some money on the side. It involves Dow Jones And the Coronavirus.
The Dow Jones industrial average surged nearly 700 points at the opening bell, then kept going, after Moderna announced that an early stage human trial for its coronavirus vaccine successfully produced covid-19 antibodies in participants. The biotech company said a large clinical trial to determine the treatment’s effectiveness would follow in July. Moderna’s shares soared more than 19 percent.
Investors also found comfort in comments made by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell during a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast Sunday. He said the central bank is “not out of ammunition by a long shot” in its resources to support the economic recovery, even while he cautioned that it could stretch late into 2021. The comment come as most states have begun to ease restrictions on businesses and social activity after weeks of stay-at-home orders affecting some 315 million Americans.
At Monday’s close, the blue chip index’s lead swelled 911 points, or 3.9 percent, to 24,597.37. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index soared 3.2 percent to 2,953.91, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite advanced 2.4 percent to 9,234.83.
David Rosenberg, chief economist of Rosenberg Research, said investors were being rewarded with a “triple whammy of good news” after two weeks of market volatility marked by dramatic, intraday swings as bad news piled up, interspersed by notes of optimism on the medical research front, rising consumer sentiment and rumblings from business.
Last week, fresh economic data revealed the pandemic’s mounting economic toll: The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday reported weekly jobless claims of 3 million, bringing the two month total to more than 36 million unemployed. April retail sales plummeted 16.4 percent, a drop that was worse than analysts had predicted as lockdowns kept consumers homebound.
The darkening retail picture prompted some economists to issue even graver predictions for second quarter gross domestic product, given that consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic growth. The economy shrank 4.8 percent in the first quarter the biggest decline since the Great Recession and some analysts believe the April to June period could see a contraction as high as 40 percent.
Monday’s good news saw investors leave safe havens for riskier ground. The yield on the 10 year U.S. Treasury note ticked upward to .665 percent in early trading. Bond yields rise as prices drop.
Crude prices continue to recover, adding to the positive sentiment, as the easing of restrictions around the world also reined in fears of an oil glut. West Texas intermediate crude, the U.S. oil benchmark, jumped 7.8 percent to $31.83 a barrel. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading up 7.7 percent at $35 per barrel.