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Dow Rallies as Investors Cheer Possible Return of Yellen, Vaccine News

·2 min read

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com - The Dow jumped Monday, led by energy on positive vaccine news, while a report suggesting President-elect Joe Biden plans to select former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary stoked hopes for further stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.13%, or 327 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.61% while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.22%.

Biden will nominate Yellen as Treasury Secretary, The Wall Street Journal reported. During her tenure as Fed Chair, Yellen was viewed as pro-stimulus, and if nominated is widely expected to support fiscal-boosting measures to shore up the economy.

The news gave stocks a second wind, adding steel to the early-day vaccine-fueled rally.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) said its clinical trials showed its Covid-19 vaccine was 70% effective in protecting against the virus. That was below the efficacy rate of rival vaccines from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). The trial involved two dosing regimens, one of which showed a 90% efficacy rate, and the other with 62%.

In another boost in the fight against the virus, Regeneron's coronavirus antibody cocktail, used by President Trump when he was hospitalized with Covid-19 last month, was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) shares were up about 1%.

The backdrop of positive coronavirus treatment-related news prompted investors to up their bets on airlines, banks, and cruise operators – sectors hit hard by the pandemic amid global restrictions to curb the virus.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), and American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) were sharply higher.

Energy, meanwhile, surged nearly 5% on hopes a quicker end to the pandemic could shore up demand. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) led the gains in the sector, up 17%.

Tech, meanwhile, turned positive after falling into the red earlier in the day, as gains in chip stocks, led by Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), helped offset weaker performance in the Fab 5.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) ended lower.

In other news, Snap (NYSE:SNAP) gained 2% after launching a feature on its platform to rival TikTok and Instagram Reels.

On the economic front, the composite Purchasing Managers' Index, which tracks activity in both manufacturing and services together, rose at its fastest pace since March 2015.

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