Stocks rally on hopes for vaccine
NEW YORK — Stocks plowed higher on Wall Street on Monday, as hopes for a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine had investors looking ahead to the possibility of a healthier economy that has shed the virus.
The S&P 500 rallied 34.12, or 1%, to 3,431.28 and added to the all-time high it set last week, when it erased the last of its losses from the coronavirus pandemic. It followed up on solid gains for stock markets across much of Europe and Asia.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 378.13, or 1.4%, to 28,308.46, and the Nasdaq composite added 67.92, or 0.6%, to 11,379.72.
Hope was rising as pharmaceutical companies continue to work toward a possible vaccine for COVID-19 and after the U.S. government on Sunday approved an emergency authorization to allow the use of convalescent plasma to treat patients. The plasma comes from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus, and it may help people battling the disease, though global health officials say the therapy is still experimental.
Such hopes helped invigorate shares of industries that have been badly beaten down by what’s become the new normal of pandemic life. Airlines climbed, for example, amid the possibility that people may feel safe enough to travel again in the future. Delta Air Lines rose 9.3%, and American Airlines Group added 10.5%.
The market’s gains were relatively broad, and more than 80% of the stocks in the S&P 500 were higher. Financial companies, energy producers and other areas of the market closely tied to the economy’s strength helped lead the way.
The moves come as investors hope the virus’ spread continues to slow and the economy continues to improve, said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
“We’re just making sure that the trends we’ve seen as of late from the virus continue to materialize,” he said. “We want to start to see marginal, steady improvement.”