The Dow Jones Industrial Average skyrocketed more than 1,300 points, or 4.7%, by midday Monday. The S&P 500 spiked by more than 3%, and the Nasdaq gained approximately half a percentage point. The Dow also briefly hit an intraday record high in early trading.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and partner Biotech said in a statement that their vaccine was “found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19” according to an early analysis that included 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants.
Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said in a commentary Monday morning that this news is a “game-changer.”
“To the extent that consumer spending and economic activity have been suppressed by concerns of the increasing Covid cases, anything that can reverse that trend will be welcomed by the markets,” Zaccarelli added.
Economists and analysts have said for months that a full economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis remains contingent on a vaccine or effective treatment for the virus.
Pfizer shares shot up approximately 9% Monday morning.
The travel sector also seemed to welcome the news. Shares for cruise operator Carnival were up some 30% Monday morning while American Airlines shares rose 12% and Delta Airlines shares climbed 11%.
News that Former Vice President Joe Biden is the apparent winner of the U.S. presidency also quelled uncertainty for some investors that had loomed large for months. Wall Street also appeared to welcome the likelihood of a split government in the wake of the election, meaning extreme policy changes that could roil markets are less likely.