Stocks surge amid COVID-19 vaccine hopes, Joe Biden victory

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US stocks headed for a huge Monday rally as Wall Street cheered progress toward a coronavirus vaccine and Joe Biden sealing his win over President Trump.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones industrial average surged 1,474 points, or about 5.2 percent, to 29,678 after Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their experimental COVID-19 shot is more than 90 percent effective.

S&P 500 futures hit a record high after the drugmakers’ milestone announcement and were recently up roughly 3.8 percent, while futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 fell about 0.4 percent.

Pfizer’s landmark announcement gave investors something to cheer about after months of waiting for definitive signs that any of the COVID-19 vaccines in development around the world would work in large, late-stage clinical trials.

The news added to the buoyant mood on Wall Street ahead of the first trading session following Biden’s Saturday declaration of victory in the contentious presidential election.

Major news outlets calling the race for the former vice president gave investors a stronger degree of certainty about where the nation’s political winds are blowing, though the early results were convincing enough to drive the Dow up 1,821 points last week.

“The drama is not over yet, and with Trump still sitting in the White House for another two months, wild price swings should not be ruled out,” said Milan Cutkovic, market analyst at Axi. “However, for market participants, there is little doubt that Biden will be sitting in the Oval Office in January.”

Wall Street is broadly betting on a Democratic White House and a Republican-controlled Senate, a combination that should ensure another stimulus bill to address the coronavirus pandemic but reduce the chances of Biden passing any tax hikes or major changes to business regulations.

However, two runoff races for Georgia‘s Senate seats will give Democrats a shot at taking both houses of Congress in January even though they face an uphill battle in the Southern battleground state.

With Post wires

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