Futures tracking the S&P 500 hit a record high on Monday after Pfizer said its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies said they have so far found no serious safety concerns and expect to seek U.S. emergency use authorization later this month.
Contracts on the S&P 500 were up 3.7% as of 07:25 a.m. in New Yorkt. The underlying index rallied 7.3% last week in the biggest advance since April. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index pared gains, but was still up 1%., while Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts gained 5%.
Pfizer shares extended gains in premarket trading, rising about 7%. American depositary receipts for BioNTech, which is also developing the vaccine, were up about 11%.
Bulls picked up where they left off in the best week for US share indexes since April, undaunted by some of the highest equity valuations in two decades and the resurgent coronavirus. Up four of the last five days, the S&P 500 sits 2% away from the record it set at the start of September.
US President Donald Trump reacted to the news on Twitter by saying “such great news”.
Oil jumped on Monday by almost 10%, the highest daily rise in almost 6 month, after Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was very effective, and Saudi Arabia said an OPEC+ deal on output cuts could be adjusted to offset rising supply and weak demand.
Brent crude rose $3.33 cents, or 8.4%, to $42.78 a barrel by 1216 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $40.53, up $3.39 cents, or 9.1%.
With odds pointing to a divided government, investors saw hopes dashed that Congress would pass a multitrillion-dollar spending package to boost the economy. But bulls turned to the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell, looking for continued support that’s been critical to the rebound from the pandemic-fueled slowdown.
Powell reassured markets during last week’s political drama that the central bank remains at the ready should Washington fail to deliver the aid package many agree is needed. And that buttressed markets that, given the choice between a broad package of economic aid and targeted Fed liquidity support, would always choose the latter due to its benefits for asset prices.